How To Choose An Australian Expat Tax Accountant

How To Choose An Australian Expat Tax Accountant – one of the topics that causes the most confusion and grief for Australian expats is managing their tax affairs.

When you chose to move overseas and live in a different country more than likely you will now have 3 tax considerations:

  1. Your existing tax reporting requirements in Australia (if applicable)
  2. Your new tax reporting requirements in your new home country (if applicable)
  3. How the two tax jurisdictions work together and what your new non-residency status in Australia means for your financial circumstances

As an Australian tax resident more than likely you may have used an Australian tax accountant to file your tax returns and when you become an Australian expat you maybe tempted to continue using this accountant because of the relationship you have built up with him or her over time.

However when it come to managing your Australian expat tax affairs you need to be certain that the accountant that you have been using is “match fit” when it comes to tax matters that relate to Australian expats.

We have seen many cases in the past where the tax accountant that an Australian expat has used has not kept up to date with the latest tax legislation changes which in turn may lead them to providing advice which is either out of date or not applicable to your circumstances living overseas.

When discussing your tax obligations with an accountant, whether they be your existing tax provider or someone new, we recommend Australian expats ask the following questions:

  • Have you kept up to date with the latest legislative tax changes surrounding Australian expats? Anyone following our articles over the last couple of years would have seen an increasing focus by Canberra and the ATO on Australians expats relating to topics on non-residency status, Main Residence Exemption, and the governments oversight of financial assets and bank accounts held by Australian expats overseas.
  • What percentage of your clients are Australian expats? If the percentage is only a small amount you need to ask yourself whether they have enough experience in this specialised area.
  • Do they know how to treat different asset classes and types when you’re an Australian expat? For example property falls under a different classification than shares. Managing your superannuation may be different should you hold a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF).

We hope the above points assist you in making what should be an exciting time overseas easier to manage. If you need to reach out to us to assist with any of your Australian expat matters then please feel free to send in your enquiry here.

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