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tax obligations while away overseas

Your Tax Obligations After Moving Away from Australia


Jul 18, 2016


Like many others, you may be wondering what your tax obligations are after leaving Australia. No matter where in the world you may be, accountant Kym Nitschke has answers for you.

Finding out exactly what your tax obligations are after moving can feel as tricky and dangerous as navigating a minefield.

Knowing which actions are legally compliant with tax obligations will keep you safe from an ‘explosion’ of financial repercussions.


The first question to begin the process of determining your obligations is this: ‘Am I still an Australian resident?’

Generally speaking, you will remain an Australian resident for taxation purposes as long as you are only overseas temporarily and don’t set up a permanent home outside of your native country.

To prove whether you should actually be considered an Australian resident or not, there is a set of conditions you need to satisfy.

You can read about the guidelines the ATO uses here.

Remaining an Australian Resident Overseas

Your obligations as an Australian resident include the following:

– Lodge an Australian tax return and declare all your foreign employment income, including any exempt income

– Declare your income even if it was already taxed by the country in which you earned it

– Lodge you tax return online from overseas

Even if you head overseas specifically to work that income must be declared, regardless of whether or not it was taxed in the foreign country.

If you become a foreign resident, then the rules on lodging a tax return change a bit for a big reason: you only need to lodge a tax return if you have Australian income. This Australian income may include:

– Employment income

– Rental income

– Australian pensions and annuities, unless an exemption is available under Australian tax law or a tax treaty

– Capital gains on Australian assets

As you pursue your goals and dreams across the ocean, don’t let worries over tax obligations weigh you down. With a little research and planning, you can be more than ready to meet your legal obligations when it comes to tax.

If this is still something of a difficult matter for you to sort out, that’s ok. Nitschke Nancarrow has resources you can access anywhere in the world.

To prepare for an extended stay abroad, however, it’s a good idea contact us for advice before you go.

Click here to contact us or send me an email direct.

– Kym Nitschke

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