Mandy Johnson (aged 40) was born and raised in Sydney. Mandy studied Commerce and Law at UNSW from 1996 to 2000 and then worked at various accounting firms in the Sydney area for several years. In addition to pursuing her professional goals, Mandy has had a keen interest in growing organic vegetables. Using funds inherited from her grandmother, Mandy purchased a parcel of semi-rural land on the outskirts of Sydney in December 2009 for this purpose. The purchase price was $400,000, and there were associated incidental costs (lawyers' fees, stamp duty) of $20,000. Mandy had been selling her vegetables to small fruit and vegetable stores. In the 2015/2016 income year, her turnover from the sale of vegetables was $25,000.
In 2016, Mandy decided to live and work in the United States for a few years. She resigned from her job, and sold her parcel of semi-rural land (where she had been growing vegetables) pursuant to a contract that was signed on 1 July 2016. She had sold her last batch of vegetables in May 2016. Mandy received proceeds of $650,000 from the sale of the land and incurred $15,000 of incidental costs (agents' fees, legal fees) in connection with the sale.
Since 1 August 2016, she has been living in California, and working in PwC's San Fransciso office. Mandy intends to return to Australia in early 2020. Initially she stayed in a serviced apartment. In September 2016 she signed a three year lease of an apartment in San Francisco city. From 1 August 2016 to 30 June 2017, she earned $180,000 (USD) in salary from her American employment.
Mandy's house in Petersham, Sydney that she bought in March 2010 (for $800,000), and which she had resided in until she moved to San Francisco, is now being occupied by her niece and nephew. They are University students and she is not charging them any rent.
Under her grandmother's will, Mandy also inherited an apartment in Sydney city in 2009. For several years, the apartment was let out for short stays, but a long-term tenant moved in on 1 July 2016. The tenant pays $700 per week in rent. Mandy pays 5% commission (on rent received) to a Sydney agent for looking after the property. She also incurs $300 per quarter on council rates and $800 per quarter on body corporate fees.
In April 2017, Mandy sold 500 shares in Sirtex Medical Ltd for $16 per share. She had purchased these in August 2016 for $32 per share. In June 2017, she sold 5,000 shares in A2 Milk Company Ltd for $3.50. She had purchased these shares in November 2016 for $1.75 per share. In June 2017, she also sold 100 shares in CSL Ltd for $135 per share. She had purchased these in August 2015 for $92 per share. All of these companies are listed on the ASX. She incurred $20 brokerage on each purchase and each sale. In the 2015/2016 income year, Mandy had made a loss of $3,000 on selling her BHP shares, and that was her only share transaction in the 2015/2016 income year.
1. Discuss whether Mandy is a resident of Australia for tax purposes in the income year 2016/2017.
2. For the 2016/2017 income year only, discuss what amounts (if any) are assessable income and what outgoings constitute allowable deductions under the Australian Income Tax Assessment Act; if you consider that Mandy's US salary should be included in her assessable income, use the following conversion: 1 USD = 1.25 AUD.
3. For the 2016/2017 income year only, calculate Mandy's final tax liability (if any) in Australia Assume that Mandy has continued to pay her Australian private health insurance premiums while overseas.
4. (a) Advise Mandy if any income tax consequences would arise if she were to sell her Petersham house upon her return to Australia. (b) Would your advice change if, while she was in the United States, her house was being leased to tenants who paid a market rent (rather than being occupied by her niece and nephew)?
The tax income year runs from 1 July of a particular year to 30 June of the following year (i.e. the 2016/2017 income year runs from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017).