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Undeclared foreign income of returning expats an ATO focus

  • Willard Lloyd
  • March 10, 2020
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The ATO has put taxpayers on notice that it will be increasing its attention towards any undeclared foreign income, and has indicated it will contact those taxpayers where they have information from a foreign revenue authority or other third parties that they may have received income from another country.

Taxpayers who are residents of Australia are required to include income from all sources in their annual income tax returns (undeclared foreign income). For Australians working in other countries, the recent decision in Harding v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCAFC 29 concerned the definition of “resident” and “resident of Australia” in our income tax law and its application to individuals.

In this decision, a person is not only a resident if they reside in Australia but includes a person whose domicile is in Australia and who does not have a “permanent place of abode” outside Australia.

Exemption for Expats NO MORE

  • Willard Lloyd
  • December 6, 2019
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Foreign tax residents will no longer be able to access the main residence CGT exemption, unless a specific life event such as death, a terminal medical condition or divorce occurs.

There will be a vast number of Australian expats who get caught up in these changes simply because they were not aware and were operating under the belief that the existing six-year temporary absence rule was still in effect

Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures) Bill 2019 has been passed by the Senate today and now awaits royal assent.

First announced in the 2017–18 budget, the bill will now deny non-residents the CGT main residence exemption for CGT events that happen on or after 9 May 2017, subject to an extended 30 June 2020 transitional date.

They will either have to decide to sell their property before the 30th of June 2020 to retain either a full or partial entitlement to the Main Residence Exemption or to retain the property until they return to Australia and elect to become a resident for tax purposes.


Comfort for Australian Expats after decision from Full Federal Court.

  • Willard Lloyd
  • March 7, 2019
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Australian expatriates have been offered some relief after a Full Federal Court decision against the ATO in a tax residency case clarified the definition of “permanent place of abode”.
Harding v Commissioner of Taxation, ruling that the taxpayer’s “temporary” apartment qualified as a “permanent place of abode” under the tax residency test and was not liable for tax in Australia.

Australians working overseas in the USA – What they need to plan for 

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Whether it be a job opportunity or change of scenery, any Australian looking to gain employment overseas should seek strategic financial advice before their departure in order to understand, and potentially avoid, any lasting financial impact that may be difficult to unwind as a result of different rules and regulations impacting their status.