Overseas Travel Obligations

Are you an Aussie living overseas and have a student loan?
The ATO may be after you.

As of the 2017 Tax year, if you live and work overseas and have a Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) or Trade Support Loan (TSL) debt, you are required to:

  • Update your contact details and submit an overseas travel notification if you have an intention to, or already reside overseas, for 183 days or more in any 12 months
  • Lodge your worldwide income or a non-lodgement advice

Overseas Travel Notification

You will be required to lodge an Overseas Travel Notification within 7 days of leaving Australia if:

  • you intend to move or already live overseas for 183 days or more
  • in any 12 month period

In addition, you will have to update you contact details, including telephone number, international address and email address.

To complete your overseas travel notification you will need your passport (Australian or Foreign) and travel information. You will need to lodge a subsequent overseas travel notification if you come back to Australia or your residency changes. You will not be required to complete another notification if you are returning to Australia for short trips like holidays.

Worldwide Income or non-lodgement advice

Your worldwide income is any income that is earned in Australia plus any income earned overseas translated back into Australian Dollars.

Your worldwide income What you need to do
If your worldwide income for the 2017–18 year is at or below $13,968 (AUD). You need to lodge a non-lodgement advice form.
This is 25% of the minimum repayment threshold. You need to report your worldwide income.
If your worldwide income for the 2017-18 year is above $13,968 (AUD). To report your worldwide income, you can lodge through an Australian registered tax agent.

Why is the ATO asking for this information?

It is estimated that nearly $2 billion worth of student loans are written-off each year and this figure is expected to double by 2026. In particular, the government believes it is missing out on $30 Million every year from students completing studies in Australia and heading overseas to work.

If your Worldwide Income– that is overseas income converted back into Australian Dollars (net of allowable Australian tax deductions, like work expenses) is more than the minimum HELP and TSL thresholds, the ATO will require you to make a repayment of your HELP and TLS liability.

Repayment income (RI*)
Repayment rate
Repayment income (RI*)
Repayment rate
Repayment income (RI*)
Repayment rate
Below $51,957 Nil   Below $55,874 Nil   Below $54,869 Nil
$51,957–$57,729 2.00%   $55,874–$62,238 4.00%   $54,869–$61,119 4.00%
$57,730–$64,306 4.00%   $62,239–$68,602 4.50%   $61,120–$67,368 4.50%
$64,307–$70,881 4.50%   $68,603–$72,207 5.00%   $67,369–$70,909 5.00%
$70,882–$74,607 5.00%   $72,208–$77,618 5.50%   $70,910–$76,222 5.50%
$74,608–$80,197 5.50%   $77,619–$84,062 6.00%   $76,223–$82,550 6.00%
$80,198–$86,855 6.00%   $84,063–$88,486 6.50%   $82,551–$86,894 6.50%
$86,856–$91,425 6.50%   $88,487–$97,377 7.00%   $86,895–$95,626 7.00%
$91,426–$100,613 7.00%   $97,378–$103,765 7.50%   $95,627–$101,899 7.50%
$100,614–$107,213 7.50%   $103,766 and above 8.00%   $101,900 and above 8.00%
$107,214 and above 8.00%            

Are you confused yet?

You may think this is too confusing or I will deal with it later. It is very important you lodge on time, even if you are payable and can’t pay straight away as you could be hit with penalties, interest and sanctions for lodging late or not lodging at all.

How can I lodge my overseas notification and worldwide income?

The Tax Shop Australia have an office in London and a dedicated team back in Australia that deal with this and the many other tax return issues……..day in day out. If you require help to deal with all the issues in a stress free and professional way we urge you to make an appointment with one of our team today.

The Tax Shop Contact Bookings
London UK 020 7979 5666 www.aussietaxshop.uk/appointments-uk
Australia 136 829 www.thetaxshop.com.au/appointments

The publications provided on this website are for your information and interest only. They are not intended to be comprehensive, and they do not constitute and must not be relied on as taxation advice. You should seek specific advice tailored to your circumstances.