tax and money

6 steps for getting your tax and money sorted before you leave

One of the most important tasks all Australian expats must do before they leave to work or live overseas is to sort out their tax and money matters.

If you do not take the time to set these up properly before you leave and problems or issues arise later, it could be difficult for you to attend to them in another country. Here’s a checklist of the things you need to do to get your taxes and money matters in order:

1. Work out your tax residency before you leave

ATO’s website has information to help you determine if you are an Australian resident or non-resident for tax purposes. Australian residents overseas must declare all their foreign income and lodge an Australian tax return. This includes income that is taxable overseas, as well as income that may be exempted from tax.

If you are already overseas, then it is important that you check with a tax consultant familiar with Australian tax law.

2. Make arrangements for your HELP and TSL debts

If you have a student loan, you are liable to settle this debt, regardless of where you may be living.

It is important that you make debt repayment arrangements and update your contact details with MyGov before you relocate overseas.

3. Keep your Australian bank account active

You may be returning home to Australia after your work contract has expired, so it is important to keep your Australian bank account active.

This may require you making a small deposit regularly while you are away. You may also want to keep some easy access to your Australian account in case of emergencies and you may need access to cash quickly.

4. Use online banking

You may have financial commitments in Australia, like insurance premiums or mortgages, that you will still have to manage while you are overseas.

Setting up online banking facilities before you leave means you can easily manage transaction online. Most bill payments can be set up as automatic transactions online. You can also easily keep track of bank balances via the internet.

5. Decide on whether you want to keep your private healthcare plan

Medicare levy surcharge is imposed on taxpayers who earned above a pre-determined threshold. If you cancel the policy, you may be liable for medicare levy surcharge. You need to determine if the surcharge is less than the premium before you take the right action.

6. Check your super

You cannot access your super early just because you are moving abroad. Make sure you check your super regularly and combine accounts that are not relevant to you, so that you are not paying more charges and fees than you have to.

Contacting your super fund to tell them your new contact details is important so they do not close your account for you. If you fund is a self-managed fund, then it is important that the fund managers tell you whether your changed conditions still qualify as an Australian super fund.

Sorting out your tax and money matters before you go overseas can help you better manage your money while you are away. The last thing you want is to come back to Australia and receive a nasty surprise from the tax office.

If you require more information contact Expat Taxes today for expert advice on how best to manage your tax and money while you are away.

Photo: tax by Sole Treadmill licensed under Creative commons 2
Photo: tax by Sole Treadmill licensed under Creative commons 2
Shane Macfarlane
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Shane Macfarlane

CEO & Founder at Expat Tax Services
Shane's an Australian Chartered Accountant and Australian expat tax specialist who's also an expat himself (based in Asia).Shane's passionate about tax and legitimate tax minimisation, particularly as it relates to Australian expats who are often subject to high rates of tax back home in Australia.Beyond tax and accounting, Shane's an entrepreneur, having devised, created and founded a successful accounting startup, Fifo Workpapers (acquired by accounting software giant, Intuit inc. in 2013)

In short Shane's a tax and software techno-geek, who recognised that Australian expats were unable to obtain the specialist advice and quality service, that they needed from their accountants. Accordingly, Shane founded Expat Tax Services to provide Australian expats with access to specialist, quality advice at fair and reasonable prices (no hourly rates, fees quoted upfront with unlimited support included) . . . receive the support and advice you need without having to take second-mortgage to pay your accountant's bill! Speak to Shane & the team today.
Shane Macfarlane
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