Skip to main content

Tax Advice for Expatriate Australians and Migrants

Australian Expat Tax Advice - Introduction

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a significant economic impact in Australia and the Government launched a number of fiscal measures to blunt its impact; including tax and super changes. None of the measures so far has had any discernible impact on Australian expatriates, except in relation to proposed changes to how tax residency which were announced in the 2021 Budget.

These changes could profoundly impact the tax residency status of Australian who return home for relatively short periods of time and need to be reconsidered. As at December 2021 we are yet to see draft legislation and, with a Federal election pending by May 2022, it may be some time before we see substantive details.

Exfin provides access to tax advice and information for Australians considering an overseas assignment, those who have already tax non-resident, future migrants and visitors on work visas regarding the Australian tax system. Prompt access to professional tax advice is available through our Inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

While Australian tax residents are taxed on their "worldwide income" at a maximum current taxable rate of 45%, (plus a medicare levy of 2% and, where applicable, a medicare levy surcharge) when they become non-resident for tax purposes they become liable only for tax on Australian sourced income - an approach which differs from that of some other countries, and particularly the US.

This is why it will normally be crucial for Australian expatriates to clearly determine their tax residency status before departing and returning to Australia and why we provide some discussion of the various tests used to determine an individual's residency status.

Determining tax residency is very dependent on an individual's personal circumstances and can involve complex assessments, and consequently you are strongly advised to seek professional advice to clarify your position. Wherever possible, this should occur before you depart for overseas because your status can be impacted by your overseas employment terms, and this is particularly the case if you are going to be working in the Middle East, where most countries do not currently levy income tax.

Other areas of common concern to expatriates are the application of capital gains tax (CGT) in relation to property and assets in Australia, both on departure and while overseas, and how rental income from property is treated whilst overseas.

In our view, Australian expatriates should have a tax briefing with a professional advisor before leaving Australia and at least several months prior to their return. There are a considerable number of tax complexities and we cannot hope to address them all within the website - although we do provide some general background around the more common taxation issues and a page of tax FAQ's.

Note that some relatively recent changes, particularly in the area of superannuation, where the Government has limited annual and non-concessional contributions, means that it is vital that you also plan your superannuation strategy, since it may involve making contributions while overseas and prior to your return to Australia.

Most Australian tax advisors have a very domestic focus and it is important that you appoint tax advisors who are focussed and experienced with respect to expat tax matters to ensure that you receive full and complete advice.

If you would like to arrange professional advice please complete the Inquiry form below providing details and you will be contacted promptly.

IMPORTANT: The material contained in this website and other associated communications is only intended as general, background information and must not be relied upon. No warranty is provided in relation to any material or to the services that may be contracted through It is recommended that individuals seek the advice of qualified professionals before taking any action.