Tax issues to consider when moving back to Australia

Tax issues to consider when moving back to Australia

Moving back home after working overseas for a long time can be a hectic and exciting time for many former residents of Australia. However, there’s some important tax issues to consider when moving back to Australia, issues that you should perhaps consider before getting tied up in the various other aspects of the move. In this blog post we’ll go over just a few of the tax issues you need to consider:


Any shares or investments you’ve purchased whilst abroad, even those listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in Australia, will become taxable upon you returning home. However, any financial gain you’ve acquired before the point at which you return to your homeland will generally be completely tax-free. To avoid issues later on, it’s a good idea to declare any dividends upon returning to Australia, and that you understand any profits made above the market value (as at the date of your return) will be taxable.


If you’ve been working in a job where you’re paid cash in hand, this is pretty handy, as all cash earnings are tax-free for returning Australian residents. However, it is important to state any interest earned on your cash savings, and any gains that might be made through the changing of currency.

Property in Australia

Many expats choose to rent out a property they once lived in upon leaving the country. Upon returning, the good news is that any tax losses which you suffered whilst out of the country will now be returned to you, and will offset your Australian income. Also, if you then choose to move back into your old property, it will be pro-rata tax-free in regards to capital gains tax.

Property elsewhere

If you’ve invested in property overseas, this property will need to be valued at the point you return to Australia, and this price will then become a guide for the tax you’re due to pay on the property. If you’re renting out the property now you’ve left the country, the rent residents are paying will also be fully taxable. However, if you lived in the home yourself, then there’s a chance it will remain a tax-free investment for up to 6 years, or alternatively until you’ve bought a new property in Australia.

Whenever you decide to make the move back to Australia after living abroad, get in contact with the team at Expat Tax Services today to ensure that any tax issues are ironed out.

Shane Macfarlane CA
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