All first home buyers who receive benefits under the First Home Owner Grant and First Home Plus schemes are matched against information held by third parties to make sure they satisfy the eligibility criteria.
Applicants who are not eligible for the schemes are required to repay the benefits, and may be charged penalties and/or interest.
We use a range of third party data to investigate:
all applicants to check they meet the residency and other eligibility requirements
cases where there may be an undeclared spouse, prior ownership, understated duty amounts for First Home Plus and inconsistencies between property transfers and First Home Owner Grant applications
all anonymous disclosures reported to the Compliance line.
In addition, we undertake automated prior ownership screening on all applications, validate all identity documents and defer payment on matters which will be investigated.
We continue to audit financial institutions that process applications on our behalf to ensure that appropriate system and processing controls are in place.
Common errors for first home benefits include:
applying for a benefit for an investment property that is to be leased
failing to advise us when circumstances change and the applicant cannot meet the residence requirement timeframes
incorrectly applying the residency requirements, for example:
failing to disclose a de facto partner/spouse
failing to disclose that the applicant, or their de facto partner/spouse has received a prior grant or had a prior relevant interest in residential property
failing to disclose previous names, including previous married name(s)
purchasing the FHOG property in a child's name, with the consideration for the property paid by parents.