ATO Closing in on Aussie Expats with Student Debt – Recently the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) published a Gazette Notice where they indicated that they will now acquire overseas movement data from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) for those Australian expats who move overseas and have an outstanding HELP (formerly HECS), VSL or TSL debt.

The data matching between the DHA and ATO will be conducted for the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years. The information that the ATO will receive from the DHA include:

  • Passport number
  • Passport country of issue
  • Offshore status
  • Departure and return dates

In a media release from the ATO they said that they will be contacting aussie expats with student debt in the coming months to remind them of their repayment obligations back home.

The top 5 countries that aussie expats with student debt reside in are the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand, Canada and Hong Kong.

aussie expat with student debt

We have been covering this topic for aussie expats with student debt since the changes were introduced on the 1st of July 2017 and with the introduction of data matching it is becoming easier for the ATO to track down those Australian expats who are not complying.

If you are considering moving overseas then you need to be aware of your obligations:

  • You are required to update your contact details and submit a overseas travel notification within seven days of leaving Australia.
  • Notify the ATO of your worldwide income or, if you fall below the repayment threshold, lodge a non-lodgement advice.

Under the 2017 rule change those aussie expats with student debt will need to report their worldwide income if they earn over AUD$11,470. If your income is greater than AUD$45,881 then you will need to commence making repayments.

To determine the the repayment amount please review the threshold table below.

aussie expat with student debt 1

Please note that when calculating your worldwide income it will be the average exchange rate for the financial year and you must use the ATO’s calculator for the major currencies.

You have two options when it comes to reporting your worldwide income to the ATO:

  1. Using the myTax service on the myGov portal
  2. Using an Australian registered tax agent

The deadline for you to report for the Australian income year (1 July to 30 June) is 31 October. It’s important you lodge on time, even if you can’t pay straight away, as you’ll avoid a penalty for lodging late.

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