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Australian Living Overseas

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Initiate

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Replies 3

Hello Team,

 

1. I live in Switzerland and declare any earnings from Australia to the Swiss authorities and it is my understanding and belief that the Swiss and Australian have reciprocal taxation policies / declarations /  (!! )

2. Only source of 'income' is from money invested through Fixed Term Deposit and 10% is deducted from this in Australia and then I declare this in my Swiss tax return;

3. On my last tax return in Australia, over three years ago now, my then Tax Accountant and I ticked the box 'Final tax return - if you know this is your final tax return, print FINAL' - which we did of course;

4. Maybe my accountant received something from the ATO and never passed it on to me, I personally have never received any information acknowledging that the ATO have received and accepted my 'FINAL' return, nor have I supplied the ATO with my current overseas address and thus the ATO still have my Australian address;

5. Whilst I do not think that there is anything to worry about, it does stay in my mind in case I do return to Australia - I am, afterall , still an Australian citizen;

6. When I complete the details on this page >> https://www.ato.gov.au/Calculators-and-tools/Host/?anchor=DINTL&anchor=DINTL/questions#DINTL/questio... I have answered and click Yes to 'Was your Australian taxable income more than $1 during the income year? I am then told that I need to lodge a Tax Return = confusion???

7. Maybe I do not understand what 'taxable income' is and therefore should answer No to the above question.

 

Thank you for any assistance.

 

JamesP

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
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Most helpful response

Initiate

Replies 0

I would like to advise now that all this has been sorted out.

How much do I say?

Anything I say here is related to 'my' personal circumstances only.

I ended up creating a myGov account and discovered that I had two overdue returns/lodgements and the one for 30 June 2018 was to be done as well.

I created and lodged three returns via the myGov portal and also had 'online assistance' while I did this. I also was able to get a Transcript of this assistance for future reference and confirmation of what was said.

I have realised in this process that my case is relatively easy as I only have some bank interest.

In the finality I have completed these returns; I have now spoken today with a Consultant from the ATO and had it verbally confirmed that everything is up to date, no fines etc, etc.

What I did learn is the following and this is my own Personal circumstances only.

1. whilst my account and I ticked the 'final return' on my last return in 2015, this didn't actually stick with the ATO;

2. lesson for me was, always call the ATO if you are not sure about something. By this I mean 'if you have an uneasy feeling in your gut and perhaps you have used an accountant - then go it alone and sort out your own 'uneasiness'.

3. I used the myGov portal in the end and I think this made it all very easy but it still remained unfinished and hence a telephone call with a consultant;

4. As a 'non-resident' there are really two questions. 1) are you a resident or not? 2) do you need to lodge a return?

5. in regards to 4 - The consultant explained 'these are two separate questions'. Aha!!! Now I know why I was going around in circles;

6. I was informed to search for 33232 & 32119 and the results after having clicked on them bring up: https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/international-tax-for-individuals/work-out-your-tax-residency/ and https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/lodging-your-tax-return/do-you-need-to-lodge-a-tax-return-/ respectively. The QC code is towards the bottom right of the page once displayed.;

7. My bank has me listed as 'non-resident' and that is the way it should be as confirmed today;

8. So where to now? Well I can keep lodging returns with zeros - the myGov lodgement stated that because I was a non-resident I didn't need to complete the amounts of interest and tax with held (I find this confusing, but moving forward) I can on my next return select 'final and no further' or do a 'non lodgement' or something like that;

9. I will now wait until 2019 tax return year and make these decisions then and have another online chat as I do all this;

10. I get the impression that if I do it electronically then the 'final return' will stick and therefore the ATO system will not keep looking for future lodgements/returns.

11. I hope this assists someone. 

12. Again, call the ATO if in doubt. I had been using an Accountant because of complicated payouts from employers, otherwise I had done my own tax for many years and was happy with that but because of the complexity of payouts I started going down the Accountant being used scenario. I cannot say my accountant was wrong and didn't understand but it is clear now I wasn't happy with the end result and I was right in the end because I should have made sure 'what is to happen going forward with my life circumstances;

13. To finish this post there are, again, two things and one is addressed in item 4 and the other... my circumstances on ... contact the ATO and discuss your situation with them.

 

Thank you for the people who originally answered my question(s).

 

3 REPLIES 3
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Anonymous

Replies 2

Hi @JamesP

 

Maybe you did not advise your Australian accountant that you were still going to earn interest from Term Deposits held in Australia after you departed.

 

The reason why the Calculator is telling you that you must lodge a tax return is because all non-residents must pay the non-resident rates of tax on any interest income they earn in Australia commencing from the first dollar of interest they earn.

 

The double tax agreements between Australia and any other country are not straight forward to deal with, and I suggest you apply for a ATO Private Ruling so the ATO can provide you with some tailored advice that will address your circumstances.

 

If you wish to contact the ATO from overseas you can do so by phoning the following number and making the operator aware you are calling from overseas and request a call back. phone +61 2 6216 1111 during ATO business hours, 8.00am to 5.00pm (Australian Eastern Standard or daylight-saving time) Monday to Friday

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Initiate

Replies 1

@Anonymous thank you for your answer..

je je je... well the interest is hardly anything...  roughly $160 per year... with non residence tax taken out by the bank.

You have given me the worse nightmare... I absolutely dislike dealing with the ATO due to all the horror stories in the newspapers.

 

As I stated I have never received anything from the ATO and yet from what you say, I could end up in trouble... not impressed to tell you the least.

 

Anyway, I will think about calling them... 

 

Thank you for the reply and information however,

 

cheers.

Highlighted

Most helpful response

Initiate

Replies 0

I would like to advise now that all this has been sorted out.

How much do I say?

Anything I say here is related to 'my' personal circumstances only.

I ended up creating a myGov account and discovered that I had two overdue returns/lodgements and the one for 30 June 2018 was to be done as well.

I created and lodged three returns via the myGov portal and also had 'online assistance' while I did this. I also was able to get a Transcript of this assistance for future reference and confirmation of what was said.

I have realised in this process that my case is relatively easy as I only have some bank interest.

In the finality I have completed these returns; I have now spoken today with a Consultant from the ATO and had it verbally confirmed that everything is up to date, no fines etc, etc.

What I did learn is the following and this is my own Personal circumstances only.

1. whilst my account and I ticked the 'final return' on my last return in 2015, this didn't actually stick with the ATO;

2. lesson for me was, always call the ATO if you are not sure about something. By this I mean 'if you have an uneasy feeling in your gut and perhaps you have used an accountant - then go it alone and sort out your own 'uneasiness'.

3. I used the myGov portal in the end and I think this made it all very easy but it still remained unfinished and hence a telephone call with a consultant;

4. As a 'non-resident' there are really two questions. 1) are you a resident or not? 2) do you need to lodge a return?

5. in regards to 4 - The consultant explained 'these are two separate questions'. Aha!!! Now I know why I was going around in circles;

6. I was informed to search for 33232 & 32119 and the results after having clicked on them bring up: https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/international-tax-for-individuals/work-out-your-tax-residency/ and https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/lodging-your-tax-return/do-you-need-to-lodge-a-tax-return-/ respectively. The QC code is towards the bottom right of the page once displayed.;

7. My bank has me listed as 'non-resident' and that is the way it should be as confirmed today;

8. So where to now? Well I can keep lodging returns with zeros - the myGov lodgement stated that because I was a non-resident I didn't need to complete the amounts of interest and tax with held (I find this confusing, but moving forward) I can on my next return select 'final and no further' or do a 'non lodgement' or something like that;

9. I will now wait until 2019 tax return year and make these decisions then and have another online chat as I do all this;

10. I get the impression that if I do it electronically then the 'final return' will stick and therefore the ATO system will not keep looking for future lodgements/returns.

11. I hope this assists someone. 

12. Again, call the ATO if in doubt. I had been using an Accountant because of complicated payouts from employers, otherwise I had done my own tax for many years and was happy with that but because of the complexity of payouts I started going down the Accountant being used scenario. I cannot say my accountant was wrong and didn't understand but it is clear now I wasn't happy with the end result and I was right in the end because I should have made sure 'what is to happen going forward with my life circumstances;

13. To finish this post there are, again, two things and one is addressed in item 4 and the other... my circumstances on ... contact the ATO and discuss your situation with them.

 

Thank you for the people who originally answered my question(s).