Increase in foreign investment fees, penalties

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Treasurer Jim Chalmers says the government welcomes foreign investment in Australia. -AAP Picture

Foreign investment application fees will double and penalties will be increased, adding $455 million to the bottom line of the budget.

The new fees range from $4,000 on investments valued at less than $75,000, to more than $1 million for residential investments over $40 million and commercial investments over $2 billion.

While foreign investment in the nation’s interest is welcome, the application fee ensures the cost of administering the foreign investment framework is not borne by Australians, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said.

“We welcome foreign investment in Australia as it plays a crucial role in Australia’s economic success and will continue to be important in the future,” he said in a statement.

“We will always put Australian interests first. That means making sure Australians benefit from foreign investment in Australia.”

Mr Chalmers said the increase, a policy adopted by Labor in the election, was necessary because of the state of the budget.

Residential properties up to $2 million will have an additional charge of around 1.3%, while the maximum charge for commercial investments over $50 million will generally be less than 0.1% of the transaction value.

This drops to an increase of less than 0.03% for large commercial investments, which make up the majority of foreign investment in Australia.

The new fees will take effect from July 29.

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