Do Foreigners Pay Tax In Australia?

Do Foreigners Pay Tax in Australia

Are you an overseas professional considering a time in the Land Down Under? Understanding the Australian taxation for foreign and temporary residents is crucial for a smooth financial journey. As a foreigner in Australia, you might be wondering how and what tax rates may apply. You might also wonder what income needs to be revealed! Well, don’t worry as this comprehensive blog has got you all covered.

Decoding Australian Tax Basics For Foreigners

Australia’s tax year runs from July 1st to June 30th, and understanding your tax obligations is crucial. If you’re a foreign resident working in Australia, you’ll declare income earned within the country, covering employment income, rental income, pensions, and capital gains on Australian assets.

Are you a resident, non-resident, or temporary resident? The classification matters in Australian taxation. Residents are taxed on worldwide income, while non-residents pay tax solely on Australian-source income. Temporary residents enjoy certain exemptions, making tax planning a nuanced task.

Unlike Australian residents, foreign residents don’t enjoy the tax-free threshold. Every earned dollar is taxable, and you’re exempt from the Medicare levy. Any interest, dividends, or royalties from Australia, subject to withholding tax, also fall under the tax net.

The bottom line is, if you are earning income in Australia as a foreign or temporary resident, a tax return may be required. 

What Must Foreign Citizens Living In Australia Declare To Ensure Tax Obligation?

What to Declare:

  • Employment income
  • Rental income
  • Australian pensions and annuities
  • Capital gains on Australian assets

Tax Realities:

  • No tax-free threshold
  • Exempt from the Medicare levy
  • Australian-sourced interest, dividends, or royalties are subject to withholding tax
  • Capital gains on the Australian home may apply to foreign residents

Loan Repayment Obligations:

  • Declaration of worldwide income for study and training loans
  • Use the online services via myGov or a registered Australian tax agent
  • The Study and Training Loan Repayment Calculator aids in determining compulsory repayments or overseas levy amounts

What Tax Responsibilities Do The Temporary Residents Have In Australia?

Criteria for Temporary Residency:

  • Possession of a temporary visa
  • Non-Australian residency status for you and your spouse

Declaration Scope:

  • Income derived in Australia
  • Overseas employment or service income during temporary residency


Other foreign income and capital gains need not be declared

Capital Gains And Medicare Levy Insights

Residents face tax on worldwide capital gains, with a 50% discount for assets held over 12 months. Non-residents and temporary residents see changes in the CGT discount post-2012. Understanding the Medicare Levy nuances is essential for ex-pats, ensuring compliance and avoiding additional surcharges.

Double Tax Relief and Superannuation

Handling the complexities of foreign tax offsets and tax treaties is crucial. Australia has double tax treaties with over 45 countries, providing relief for taxes paid abroad. But the following key pointers must always be considered:

  • Super earned on a temporary visa can be claimed upon leaving
  • Processed as a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP)

The complex superannuation system, mandatory for all Australian employees, adds another layer of complexity but offers tax planning opportunities for expats.


While managing your Australian tax might seem feasible, the complicatedness of international taxes deserves caution. Seeking advice from experienced Australian tax specialists can save you from costly mistakes. For this, you can rely on KPG Taxation which has expert tax accountants who can guide you through the complexities of Australian tax as a foreigner.

Consulting with KPG Taxation

Focus On Growing Your Business, Leave The Accounting On Us!

  • Income Tax : File your taxes & get the best claims & returns.
  • Accountancy : Hire expert accountants to manage your transactions.
  • Bookkeeping : Let us handle your record books and expense reports.
  • Business Advisory : From company set-up to payroll, we handle it all.