The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) Scheme was introduced on 1 July 2000 and provided a grant to first home buyers to purchase their first home. The FHOG scheme is fully funded by the ACT Government and administered by the ACT Revenue Office.
A first home owner grant cap applies to eligible transactions that commence on or after 1 January 2011. The cap limits the total value of eligible properties (i.e. total value of home and land) to $750,000 or less.
The First Home Owner Grant has been retargeted to new and substantially renovated properties only and is no longer available for the purchase of established properties.
An applicant may be eligible for a further first home owner grant if a grant for an eligible transaction that commenced on or after 1 January 2011 was repaid, including any penalties and interest. For details see Revenue Circular FHOG004.1 [RTF,242Kb], [PDF, 558Kb]. However, if an applicant has been convicted of an offence under the Act in the ACT or a corresponding First Home Owner Grant Act in another jurisdiction, an applicant is ineligible for a further grant in the ACT.
Transactions dated on or after 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016
The First Home Owner Grant was reduced to $10,000 on 1 January 2016.
The residency requirement for the First Home Owner Grant is 1 year, with the period of occupation commencing within 1 year after completion of the eligible transaction to which the application relates.
Application forms for transactions dated on or after 1 January 2016 must be completed on the corresponding 1 January 2016 First Home Owner Grant application form. First Home Owner Grant – Current Lodgment Guide and Application Form [RTF, 697Kb], [PDF, 467Kb] Applications completed on other forms will not be accepted.
Transactions dated between 1 September 2013 and 31 December 2015
The value of the grant was increased from $7,000 to $12,500 for transactions dated between 1 September 2013 and 31 December 2015.
In addition, the residency requirement for the First Home Owner Grant has been increased from 6 months to 1 year, commencing within 1 year of completion of the eligible transaction to which the application relates.
Applications forms for transactions dated between 1 September 2013 and 31 December 2015 must be completed on the corresponding 1 September 2013 First Home Owner Grant application form.
Applications completed on other forms will not be accepted.
New or substantially renovated properties
The First Home Owner Grant applies to new or substantially renovated properties only for transactions dated on or after 1 September 2013.
A new or substantially renovated property is:
* a home that has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence; or
* a substantially renovated home that, as renovated, has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence; or
* a property which is subject to an “off the plan” purchase agreement.
For an applicant to be eligible for the FHOG on the purchase of a new home, the home must not have previously been occupied, and the home must not have previously been sold as a place of residence. This is a two-limbed test where both conditions must be satisfied.
In relation to a substantially renovated property, the renovations must have affected the building as a whole, and resulted in the removal or replacement of all, or substantially all, of the previous building. For renovations to have been substantial, they must have affected most of the rooms in the previous building.
The renovation of only one part of a building without any work on the remaining parts of the building (for example, the renovation of only one bedroom in a four-bedroom house), would not constitute substantial renovations. Similarly, the removal and replacement of a kitchen and bathroom with little else having been done to the building, apart from minor repair work, would not be substantial renovations. Cosmetic work only does not constitute substantial renovations.
The home, as renovated, cannot have been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence. Additional information on new and substantially renovated properties can be found here.
Application processing time
All applications can be lodged with the Access Canberra Dickson Shopfront accepted on behalf of the commissioner for ACT Revenue or posted to PO Box 293, Civic Square ACT 2608 or lodged through an approved agent.
An application for the FHOG must be lodged within the required timeframe, that is within a one year period after completion (eg. Settlement or date of issue of the Certificate of Occupancy and Use) of the eligible transaction to which the application relates.
Owner Builders can only lodge their application within the one period after the home has been completed.
An application lodged with your approved agent may be made within the period beginning on the commencement date of the eligible transaction to which the application relates (e.g. the date of exchange of contract) and ending one year after the completion of the eligible transaction to which the application relates (e.g. settlement or date of issue of the Certificate of Occupancy and Use).
When will the grant be paid?
For payment to be available at settlement or first draw down/progress payment you must lodge your application with an approved agent.
For applications lodged with the Access Canberra Dickson Shopfront, accepted on behalf of the Commissioner for ACT Revenue or mailed to ACT Revenue, PO Box 293 CIVIC SQUARE 2608, payment of the grant will be made within 10 working days of receiving a complete application, after completion of the eligible transaction.
Please allow 10 working days before checking on the status of your application. Please submit complete applications with all supporting documents as incomplete applications will delay processing time.
If you have lodged your application with an approved agent please contact them for a status update in the first instance.
False or Misleading Information
Applicants for the First Home Owner Grant must ensure information contained in or in connection with their application is information they know to be true and correct in every particular. If a grant is subject to conditions notified to applicants in writing, applicants must comply with the conditions or repay the grant if they are unable to comply.
Applicants who receive a grant to which they are not entitled, or who do not comply with the residency requirements, or who fail to comply with notification and repayment obligations may, in addition to repaying the grant, be subject to an administrative penalty of up to the amount of the grant, and payment of interest. Applications are made on a self assessment basis. Information supplied by applicants is generally compliance checked after the grant has been paid.
*All information contained in this article originally from the Australian Capital Territory Government website