expat moving overseas

Your key checklist as an expat moving overseas

Are you ready to relocate to a new country? Moving abroad can be both exhilarating and overwhelming.

Between packing up your house, saying goodbye to friends and preparing for your new job, there’s a lot to think about.

Will you be able to get your prescription medication? What vaccines will your pets need? Do you still need to file an Australian tax return?

Here are 4 essential things for an expat moving overseas to check before you go:

Rules and regulations

Research the rules for your new country. Check and double-check your visa regulations. If you’re moving for work, your employer is likely to be sorting out your visa. But it helps to know the exact regulations, especially for any family members going with you.

Pay attention to any vaccines and quarantines for pets, as well as any medical certificates your family members may need.

Don’t forget your household items too. Your new country may impose taxes or restrictions on shipped household items and import taxes for high-value items.

Cost of living

Some countries are more expensive to live in than others. Find out the cost of living in your destination country and look at how it compares to your home town in Australia.

Specifically, look at food costs, rents, mortgage interest rates, and utilities, including power and internet costs. Use this to create a monthly budget for your new life overseas.

A good website that we often refer clients to for getting a feel about the cost of living is https://teleport.org/ – take a look at that as this will provide you with a lot more information about your destination.

Healthcare benefits

Healthcare varies greatly around the world. So, it’s essential to understand what you’ll be entitled to when you move overseas.
Can you easily access your prescription medications? If not, bring an extra supply with you. How does the local healthcare compare to private health insurance? Does your new workplace offer a healthcare scheme? Ask your employer for advice before you leave.

Tax obligations

Different countries have different taxation rules for income earned abroad. Start by understanding whether you’re still an Australian resident for tax purposes (yes it is possible to be a tax resident of Australia notwithstanding that you may live overseas).

Next, find out whether your new country has a tax treaty with Australia. Tax treaties are bilateral agreements which determine the percentage of tax that expats pay on income, pensions, investments, and more. They also prevent you from being stung with double taxation in Australia and your new country of residence.

Thinking of selling your home? Depending on when you sell, it can have huge implications for Capital Gains Tax. Read all about it here: Capital Gains Tax changes to affect thousands of Aussie expats

The bottom line? Ask the advice of an expatriate tax specialist before you go, and you could save thousands in tax, avoid fines and penalties and minimise any potential capital gains tax. Not to mention the time and stress you’ll save when you do your Australian tax return. If you’re interested, we highly recommend booking an Contact our friendly team at Expat Tax Services today.

Shane Macfarlane
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