Relocation & Tax - Coming to Australia?


relocating to Australia

Are you a foreign national holding a temporary resident visa? If you're about to arrive in Australia to work, or you're already here, you may be eligible to take advantage of a number of tax opportunities as a temporary resident.

Bates Cosgrave has been working with expats both here and overseas, and we can help you with your taxation planning before you get here, while you're living in Australia or when you're heading home.

Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA)

The Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA) is paid to an employee to compensate for additional expenses or disadvantages that arise with you live away from home to work for your employer.

Broadly, the criteria for eligibility is that you must meet includes:

  • Incurring additional expenses working for your employer while away from home;
  • Relocation for a finite period of time; and
  • Intent to move back to your original place of residence.

Key Benefits

Some of the typical benefits for LAFHA include:

  • Recovery of domestic expenditure before tax
  • Living away from home;
  • Salary package other costs at a tax free rate, such as utility connection fees, education, leasing of household goods, or relocation costs;
  • A 50% tax reduction to go on holiday with your family.

No tax on foreign source income

As of 1 July 2006, you no longer pay tax on investment income earned from foreign investments if you're not a permanent resident of Australia.

Recover superannuation when leaving Australia

If you're a temporary visa holder and you're planning to return back to your country of residence, then you are generally eligible for a departing superannuation payment (less your tax) when you leave Australia.

Take the hassle out of your move… and your tax

We know it's a huge decision to move to Australia to work. Bates Cosgrave has extensive experience helping foreign nationals to relocate to Australia, with comprehensive tax planning for cross-border arrangements that benefit you and your employer.

Please contact Matt Zhou at Bates Cosgrave on (02) 9957 4033 to find out more about our cross-border services and to discuss your specific requirements.

Download PDF Version Relocating to Australia 

The Government has announced a number of changes to the LAFHA scheme which are expected to apply from 1 October 2012. Join our mailing list or follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates

Last updated July 2012. This factsheet is provided for information purposes only and is correct at the time of publishing. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances. 

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