Tax For Overseas Tax Refund

If you’re enrolled to study in Australia in a course that lasts for six months or more, you’re usually regarded as an Australian resident for tax purposes. This means:

  • You pay tax on your earnings at the same rate as other residents
  • You’re entitled to the benefits of the Australian tax system, such as:
    • the tax-free threshold (or part of it, if you’re here for only part of the financial year)
    • tax offsets
    • Generally lower tax rates than a foreign resident.

Generally Australian residents must announce all income they’ve earned, both in Australia and internationally, on their Australian tax return. However, as an overseas student you maybe have a temporary visa, which means you’re a temporary resident.

If you’re a temporary resident, most of your foreign income is not taxed in Australia and you don’t say publicly it on your Australian tax return. You declare only income you derive in Australia, plus any income you earn from employment performed overseas for short periods while you are a temporary resident of Australia.

After the end of the Australian income year (30 June), you lodge an annual tax return to tell ATO how much earnings you received and tax you paid. ATO, then send you a notice of assessment and your tax refund if you’re allowed to one. If you worked in Australia you will probably need to lodge an Australian tax return after 30 June. You can lodge your return online from your home country.

If you are leaving Australia permanently you may be entitled to lodge an Australian tax return early. In this case you must lodge a paper return, which takes longer to process.

If you have been an Australian resident but are leaving Australia and keeping assets here, you should know about capital gains tax (CGT) and going overseas.

Any super contributions paid by your employer must remain in your super fund account while you are in Australia.

You can claim your super after you leave if you:

  • were in Australia on an eligible temporary-resident visa (but not if you were on visa subclasses 405 and 410)
  • had super aid paid by an employer while you were in Australia
  • have left Australia and your working visa has either expired or been cancelled.

Before your super is paid to you, your fund will deduct tax.

For more information on Etax, myTax ATO and online tax return, please contact us at 1300768284 or you can email us at

Overseas Super Management Tax Refund

If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident heading overseas, your super remains subject to the same rules, even if you are leaving Australia permanently. This means you cannot access your super until you reach preservation age and retire, or satisfy another condition of release.

If you have a small super account you want to keep with your super fund, contact your super fund and tell them. This will avoid it from being transferred to us as unclaimed super.

You should check your super regularly and combine any accounts you no longer need. You can do this through your tax agent. Combining several super accounts means you don’t have to pay multiple sets of fees and charges.

If you are planning on moving permanently or indefinitely to New Zealand, you can leave your super in Australia or transfer it to a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme from a participating Australian super fund.

Self-managed super

If you are a trustee of a self-managed super fund and you intend to travel overseas for an absolute period, check before you leave that your fund will continue to meet the definition of an Australian
super fund

Higher education and trade support loans

From 1 January 2016, if you have moved overseas and have a Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) or Trade Support Loan (TSL) debt, you will have the same refund obligations as those who live in Australia. This applies if you already live or intend to move overseas for a total of more than six months in any 12-month period.

For more information on Etax, myTax ATO and online tax return, please contact us at 1300768284 or you can email us at

Going Overseas Tax Refund

If you remain an Australian resident overseas:

  • You must lodge an Australian tax return and declare all your foreign employment income, including any exempt income.
  • You must state that income even if tax was taken out in the country where you earned it.

Capital gains on your assets
If you leave your home in Australia temporarily and rent it out, you can continue to treat it as your main residence for up to six years for capital gains tax (CGT) purposes. If you don’t rent out your vacated home, you can treat it as your main residence for an unlimited period.

If you cease to be an Australian resident while overseas, ATO deem some of your assets – generally those not considered taxable Australian property – to have been willing of for CGT purposes. This may mean you become liable to pay CGT.

You can choose not to have this deemed clearance apply. If you do eventually dispose of the asset, ATO  take into account the whole period of ownership – including any period when you’re not an Australian resident – when we calculate a gain or loss for CGT purposes.

Cancelling private health insurance

The Medicare levy surcharge applies to Australian residents who have incomes above the surcharge thresholds and do not have an suitable level of private patient hospital cover.

If you cancel your private health insurance while travelling overseas, you may be liable for the Medicare levy surcharge if your income exceeds the relevant threshold.

You should contact your health fund to work out the amount of premium you expect to save by cancelling or suspending your cover. Compare it to the add-on you may have to pay.

Family cover

You and all your family dependants must have personal patient hospital cover to avoid paying the surcharge. Cancelling or suspending cover for yourself will mean you and your spouse may each still be liable for the surcharge if your combined income for the purposes of the surcharge exceeds the family surcharge threshold.

Travel health insurance

Travel insurance is not private patient hospital cover for the purposes of the Medicare levy surcharge. Private patient hospital cover does not include cover provided by an overseas fund.

Exempt foreign service income and the surcharge thresholds

Although your foreign employment income may be exempt from tax, ATO still take it into account when they determine your taxable income for the purposes of the Medicare levy surcharge.

For more information on Etax, myTax ATO and online tax return, please contact us at 1300768284 or you can email us at