General tax requirements
The Australian Taxation Office may require an owners corporation (formerly body corporate) to:
- have a tax file number
- get an Australian Business Number (ABN). You can apply for this on the Australian Business Register website
- register for GST.
The Australian Taxation Office will also issue a tax file number when the owners corporation applies for an ABN.
Your owners corporation should get professional advice about its taxation and GST obligations. For more information about the taxation matters below, contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Income tax requirements
Owners corporations are treated as public companies for tax purposes. This means your owners corporation must lodge a tax return for any year in which it receives assessable income.
Assessable income includes:
- income from leasing common property
- interest from investments
- fees for issuing owners corporations certificates and copies of the register and records
- sale or rentals of common property or personal property
- fees for servicing lots.
It does not include:
- annual fees, including contributions to any maintenance fund
- special fees and charges, as these are 'mutual income'.
Your owners corporation must:
- have a tax file number if it earns one dollar or more of assessable income.
- lodge its annual income tax return every 30 June. Unlike personal income tax, there is no tax-free threshold - all of an owners corporation's assessable income will be taxed at the company tax rate.
If your owners corporation earns income from common property, it must notify each lot owner of their portion of the assessable income by 14 July. This amount should be included in lot owners' personal tax returns.
An owners corporation without assessable income must tell the Australian Taxation Office that it has no taxable income for the year.
If your owners corporation's income (including fees) exceeds $75,000 in a year, it must register for GST. If the total income is less than $75,000, the owners corporation may choose to register for GST.
If your owners corporation is not registered for GST, it cannot claim GST input credits.