Australians Working Overseas


Q:   When is a tax-free job overseas not really tax-free?

A:   When you are still a resident of Australia for tax purposes and, therefore, must pay tax on your worldwide income.


Q:   So, when do I stop being a resident who has to pay tax in Australia?

A:   Many factors are considered and the Tax Office are not easily convinced. For personalised specialist advice, call us.


Q:   I didn’t declare my overseas wages in my Australian tax return last year. Will I be audited?

A:   The Tax Office are actively targeting foreign-income earners. We can help you get your affairs in order before they target you.

       If you sort it out yourself the possible penalties are much lower than if they catch you out.


For more information see the ATO website Residency – Some Common Situations and Working Overseas – What you need to know. Be aware that from 1 July 2009, there is a limited exemption for foreign employment income from particular types of foreign service.

See this online news article Tax Haven to Tax Hell (, 6 Oct 2012), “Working for a few years in a country with low taxes can sound like a great way to put aside some money. Until you look at what a tax nightmare it can turn out to be when you return to Australia.”