preparing to move overseas

Preparing to move overseas

Every year, thousands of Australian residents pack up their belongings to start a new life overseas. For some this move is only temporary (1-2 years), while for others it’s a permanent change. However, before you book your one-way tickets, there are a few things you need to get sorted.

Tax

As an Australian resident living overseas, you must declare all income. Even if tax was deducted from the country you live in. Expat Taxes are experts in international tax and will talk to you about what you can and can’t claim while living overseas. As Australian expats, we want our fellow compatriots to live overseas comfortably.

Insurance

Before going overseas, you need to ensure you have all insurances in order. If anything were to happen to you, and you’re not covered, a trip to the hospital could be the least of your worries. Health and family insurance are the two most important cover expats will need.

Super

If you’re an Australian resident moving overseas, the rules remain the same when it comes to accessing your super. This means you cannot access the funds until you reach retirement age or have met the conditions for early access. Be sure to roll all super accounts into the one fund. This will save you the headache of trying to keep on top of your super.

Property

Expats that rent out their home while overseas can continue to treat it as their main residence for up to 6 years. This is solely for capital gains tax purposes. If the home is left vacated, you can treat it as your main residence for an unlimited time.

Update – 9th May 2017: Please note that the Australian government handed down it’s 2017 Australian Federal budget today, with proposals to stop non-residents from being able to access the main residence capital gains tax exemption (discussed in our original article below) from 9th May 2017.

Existing properties held by Australian expats and non-residents will continue to be exempt but only until 30 June 2019. After that date, any existing properties held by non-residents (as at 9th May 2017) will become subject to capital gains notwithstanding that the property may continue to be that taxpayer’s main residence. It is expected that this will cause a large number of Australian expats to re-evaluate how long they will continue to live and work overseas in light of these changes.

To learn more about these and other 2017 budget measures proposed, take a look at our recent blog post 2017 Australian Federal Budget – Expats the Clear Losers.

Source: Budget Paper No 2, p 27.

HECS debt

As of July 1st 2017, Australian university graduates living overseas will have to make compulsory re-payments to their HECS debt. If you have a debt, speak to both your employer and accountant about these repayments and how you will be affected.

Expat Taxes understand the stress that comes with trying to organise your move overseas. After all we are expats too. If you would like to know more about tax implications while living overseas, get in touch with us today.

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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