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Re: Advise ATO now Resident in Portugal.

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Hello,

I have just discovered a major problem.

I departed Sydney on 31Dec 2016 for Lisbon, Portugal. I have lived here since 01Jan 2017 and was registered as a Resident on 17Jan2017 for a 5 year period, with an option of extending beyond 2022. I am 71yrs old and hold both a UK Passport and an Australian Passport.

Even though my lawyer here assisted me in registering with the Portuguese Tax Office, I was under the impression that this was just a formality incase I worked here. I am retired and have never worked here nor do I intend to and I have no other income at all besides my Australian Superannuation Pension.

During the past 4 years I was under the misapprehension that I was still under the ATO and have been submitting Tax Returns in Sydney even though I have not earned any income during this time.

Also I have not formally informed the ATO that I am not residing in Australia.

Similarly I have not lodged any Tax Returns in Portugal which I have now learned that I should have.

Could you advise me what I can do to rectify this situation with the ATO? Is there an online form or should I write to someone at the ATO to explain to them? At least I have not withheld any Tax during this time so I have not gained financially whatsoever.

Many thanks,

Michael.

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Most helpful response

ATO Community Support

Replies 4

Hello @mikey002

 

I can't offer any advice about what to do with the Portuguese taxation office and their requirement for you to lodge tax returns once registered with them. You will need to rely on local advice for that.

 

Ideally your relocation overseas would have been best notified at the time of departure. The good news is it's fairly easily rectified. The easiest way to advise us of your new contact details is by using MyGOV and your linked ATO account.

If you don't have that in-place and/or are finding it difficult to setup you can always advise us via a downloaded form. See the link below.

 

Here are two key web pages to visit to dive into the details:

 

Australians living overseas and the downloadable form for Change of details for individuals.

 

On the first page you will also see a link to check your residency status for tax purposes. It's worth reading through that material too. It will inform you whether you still need to lodge Australian tax returns.

 

I hope that helps.

RichATO

 

 

 

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Most helpful response

ATO Community Support

Replies 4

Hello @mikey002

 

I can't offer any advice about what to do with the Portuguese taxation office and their requirement for you to lodge tax returns once registered with them. You will need to rely on local advice for that.

 

Ideally your relocation overseas would have been best notified at the time of departure. The good news is it's fairly easily rectified. The easiest way to advise us of your new contact details is by using MyGOV and your linked ATO account.

If you don't have that in-place and/or are finding it difficult to setup you can always advise us via a downloaded form. See the link below.

 

Here are two key web pages to visit to dive into the details:

 

Australians living overseas and the downloadable form for Change of details for individuals.

 

On the first page you will also see a link to check your residency status for tax purposes. It's worth reading through that material too. It will inform you whether you still need to lodge Australian tax returns.

 

I hope that helps.

RichATO

 

 

 

Initiate

Replies 3

Hello RichATO,

Thank you so much for your very prompt reply.

 

I did try to set up MyGOV quite some time ago from here, Portugal, and all was fine until it said that a Code was going to be sent to my Australian mobile number so I couldn't finalise the set up as I don't have access to that mobile phone number here.

 

I have printed out the form that you mentioned but it needs to be mailed to the ATO.

 

Before the pandemic the mail between Portugal and Australia took approximately 2 weeks but I have noticed that the mail can now take more than 2 months with the lack of flights between Europe and Australia. Would that pose a problem?

 

Yes, I realise that you cannot offer any assistance to me with the Portuguese Taxation Office. I am still searching for a Tax Agent here who understands the workings of the Australian Superannuation Fund particularly when the word 'Pension' is not part of the title. I understand that 'Fines' are usually given out to those who are behind with their Tax Returns here.  Mine will be 3 years overdue.

 

Thanks once again.

 

mikey002 

ATO Community Support

Replies 2

Hi @mikey002,

 

You can alternatively try downloading the myGov code generator app, which sends a code to the app instead of an SMS. You'll need to be running the Australian app store or play store for this to work.

 

It's okay that the change of details forms will take time to be received in the post.

 

Lodging tax returns despite being overseas was the right thing to do where you haven't severed ties with Australia (or us). Smiley Happy This is because if you don't sever ties correctly, we consider you an Australian resident for tax purposes still.

 

You can read about the myGov code generator app on Services Australia's website.

Initiate

Replies 1

Hi BlakeATO,

Many thanks for your email. I must say that you all are offering a wonderful service and makes life a whole lot easier especially when

problems arise.

As I have previously mentioned I have not earned any income either in Portugal or in Australia since 2017 and have relied entirely on my Australian Superannuation money that I am obligued to pay myself Annually.

Is this actually regarded as a Pension as the title names it as The Australian Superannuation Fund.

I understand that Pensions from certain countries that have a bi-lateral agreement with Portugal are Tax Free. I have approached a few Tax Agents in Lisbon and none so far understand the fact that it is a pension scheme and when I attempt to explain that shares are bought and sold by my Fiancial Advisor, Audited and then ultimately processed by the ATO they result in 0% Tax payable. Some automatically say that this then is an income and should be taxed at 24%. However, Pensions are not double taxed here and threrefore are exempt  Income Tax. 

I understand fully that you cannot assist with the Portuguese Tax Authorities but I am wondering if there is any wording with the Australian Superannuation Fund that describes it as a Pension scheme?

Also because of my mistake by not notifying the ATO of my Residency in Portugal until the form that I am about to forward has been received and processed, I have remained as a Tax payer to the ATO until now. Can another country at the same time, claim me as a Tax Resident? i.e. Can I be treated as a Tax Resident of both Portugal and Australia at the same time or does, in this case, Australia, need to process my change in status first before another country such as Portugal can claim me as a Tax Resident?

If this were the case then I would have been correct in not having filed any Tax Returns in Portugal over the years since 2017.

I am trying to give correct information to the person (Tax Agent) who will be sorting out this confusion with the authorities here.

Many thanks, once again.

 

mikey002

 

ATO Community Support

Replies 0

Hi @mikey002,

 

We're happy to help where we can. When you first departed Australia you actually would've become a non resident for tax purposes, even though you remain an Australian citizen. In this regard it means you only have to report to us your Australian income as opposed to your worldwide income.

 

Once you reach 60yrs of age the taxed element and tax free component of your super pension is no longer reportable to us. If you're still reporting, it means your super income stream/pension has an untaxed element in it. This is the portion that has never been subject to contributions tax (15%) whilst held in the fund. Reporting this in your return allows you to receive an income stream tax offset

 

You can use the links below for your benefit and share this with your overseas Tax agent. Just for the record, your superannuation payment is called a superannuation income stream. 

 

 

Links -

How tax applies to your super.- Please view the over 60yrs information and tables.

MyTax 2020 super income streams.- The information will be the same for reporting in 2021FY.

Residency.

 

All the best.