A Comprehensive Guide for Australians Moving Abroad or Coming to Australia


Embarking on a journey to live, study, or holiday in Australia, or considering a move overseas, comes with not only exciting prospects but also important considerations regarding tax residency. Understanding how your residency status impacts the tax you pay is crucial to ensure compliance with Australian tax laws. In this blog post, we will delve into various scenarios, including coming to Australia, leaving for overseas, and the implications for Australians living abroad.

Determining Your Tax Residency

Before exploring specific situations, it’s essential to grasp the concept of tax residency. Your tax residency status is determined by various factors, such as the duration of your stay, the purpose of your visit, and your connections to Australia. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provides residency tests to help individuals ascertain their residency status.

Coming to Australia

1. Permanent Residency:

– If you’re coming to Australia to live permanently, you are likely to be considered an Australian tax resident.
– As a resident, your worldwide income will be subject to Australian tax.

2. Study or Holiday:

– Individuals coming to Australia for study or holiday may still be considered residents for tax purposes.
– Temporary residents, however, may have different tax obligations, with a focus on income derived within Australia.

Australians Living Overseas

1. Tax and Super Obligations:

– Australians planning to live overseas must understand their ongoing tax and super obligations.
– Maintaining tax compliance involves staying informed about any changes to laws and regulations.

2. Tax-Free Threshold for Expatriates:

– Individuals leaving Australia to live overseas need to be aware of the tax-free threshold and how it applies to them.
– Proper planning can optimize tax benefits for expatriates.

Certificate of Residency and Overseas Tax Relief

1. Certificate of Residency:

– Requesting a certificate of residency is essential for individuals needing to prove their tax residency status to foreign tax authorities.
– This certificate aids in avoiding double taxation.

2. Dual Tax Residents:

– Some individuals may qualify as dual tax residents. Understanding the implications and utilizing relief provisions is vital.

Foreign Income and Employment

1. Royalties and Withholding:

– Foreign residents receiving royalties in Australia need to comply with withholding and PAYG obligations.
– Adhering to these requirements ensures smooth financial transactions.

2. Section 23AG and 23AF:

– Employees working overseas may fall under section 23AG or 23AF, impacting tax and super obligations.
– Awareness of these sections is crucial for accurate tax reporting.


Whether you’re planning a move to Australia or considering living abroad, understanding the intricacies of tax residency is paramount. The ATO provides clear guidelines and residency tests to help individuals determine their tax obligations. Staying informed about these regulations ensures a smooth transition and compliance with Australian tax laws, fostering financial stability and peace of mind.