First Home PlusNote: From 1 January 2012, the First Home Plus Scheme will be replaced by the First Home – New Home Scheme.
The NSW Treasurer, the Hon. (Mike) Michael Bruce BAIRD, MP announced the following changes to State taxes and duties as part of the 2011 State Budget:
First Home – New HomeFrom 1 January 2012 First Home Plus exemptions and concessions will be replaced by the First Home - New Home Scheme.
The amendments provide that an agreement or transfer will only be eligible for the concession or exemption if it is for the acquisition of a new home or vacant land intended to be used as the site for a new home.
Schedule 1  removes duty concessions and exemptions available to certain first home buyers under the First Home Plus scheme. Under that scheme, no duty is chargeable on an agreement to sell or transfer, or on a transfer of, a first home with a dutiable value of up to $500,000 (or vacant land with a dutiable value of up to $300,000). Concessions apply for an agreement to sell or transfer, and a transfer of, a first home with a dutiable value of more than $500,000 but less than $600,000 (or vacant land with a dutiable value of more than $300,000 but less than $450,000). The amendment provides that an agreement or transfer will no longer be eligible for the concession or exemption unless it is for the acquisition of a new home or vacant land intended to be used as the site of a new home.
Schedule 1  renames the First Home Plus scheme the First Home—New Home scheme. Schedule 1  provides that the amendment will apply to agreements entered into, and transfers that occur, on or after 1 January 2012.
Schedule 1  inserts definitions of home, new home and substantially renovated home.
Home is defined as a building (affixed to land) that
may lawfully be used as a place of residence and is, in the Chief Commissioner of
State Revenue’s opinion, a suitable building for use as a place of residence.
Newhome is defined as a home that has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence, including a substantially renovated home.
Substantially renovated home is defined as residential premises that have been created through substantial renovations and, as renovated, have not previously been occupied or sold as a place of residence. Substantial renovations are renovations in which all, or substantially all, of a building is removed or replaced. However, the renovations need not include removal or replacement of foundations, external walls, interior supporting walls, floors, roof or staircases.
Schedule 1  is a consequential amendment.
Schedule 1 , , , ,  and  omit obsolete provisions relating to duty discounts, the NSW Housing Construction Acceleration Plan and the Flood-prone housing scheme. Schedule 1 ,  and  are consequential amendments.
Schedule 1  enables savings and transitional regulations to be made as a
consequence of the enactment of the proposed Act.
Schedule 1  provides for transitional matters.
Residency requirementsBoth the First Home Owner Grant and First Home Plus Schemes have residency requirements.
Under the First Home Owner Grant Scheme, at least one applicant must occupy the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of six months commencing within 12 months of settlement or construction of the home.
Under First Home Plus and First Home Plus One, if you are buying an existing home:
Note: An exemption from the residency requirement may be available where an applicant was a member of the permanent forces of the Australian Defence Force and all applicants were enrolled on the NSW electoral roll as at the commencement date of the eligible transaction.
- at least one of the eligible purchasers must occupy the property as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months, with that occupation starting within 12 months after completion of the agreement or transfer.
- in the case of vacant land, the Chief Commissioner must be satisfied the vacant block of land is intended to be used as the site of a home to be occupied as the principal place of residence of one of the eligible purchasers.
If, for some reason, you are unable to move into your new home within 12 months and still intend to occupy it as your principal place of residence, you must forward an application to the Chief Commissioner for an extension of time before the end of the 12 month period. The Chief Commissioner does have the discretion to extend the time for you to move in and his decision will be based on the merits of your claim.
If, after receiving a first home benefit, you are unable to move into your new home at all, due to circumstances outside your control, you should apply to the Chief Commissioner for consideration of waiving the residency requirement, as soon as you are aware of such circumstances.
If the residency requirement is not met and you have not been granted an extension of time or had the requirements waived, then within 14 days of the end of the 12 month period you must :
- give written notice of this fact to the Chief Commissioner, and
- pay back the grant and/or relevant duty to the Chief Commissioner. The relevant duty is the amount you saved as a result of an exemption or concession on transfer and mortgage duty.