How Much Foreign Income Is Tax-Free In Australia? 

How Much Foreign Income Is Tax-Free In Australia

Australian citizens who work and earn money from overseas sources need to understand tax implications. Even though the country taxes you on your worldwide income, there are a few exceptions and thresholds which allow individuals to enjoy tax-free foreign income as well. So we decided to share with you our views on how much foreign income is tax-free in Australia and shed light on important considerations for Australian taxpayers.

Tax Residency Status

Before we move any further, let’s first understand the specifics of tax-free foreign income. So here you have to determine your tax residency status in Australia. Non-residents are typically taxed on their income that originates in Australia, however, Australian tax residents are required to report their worldwide income in their tax forms. The individual’s physical presence in Australia, intents, and social and economic links to the nation are all taken into account when determining tax residence. So here it would be best to consult professional tax accounts or refer to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) guidelines to determine your residency status.

Tax-Free Foreign Income

For Australian tax residents, certain types of foreign income may be exempt from taxation, subject to specific conditions and limitations. Here are some key examples:

Exempt Foreign Employment Income

If you are an Australian resident working overseas for a continuous period of 91 days or more, your foreign employment income may be exempt from tax in Australia. This exemption applies if your foreign employment income is subject to tax in the foreign country in which you are working. There are a few conditions that should be met to claim this exemption. A few of them include maintaining a foreign bank account and providing evidence of foreign tax paid. 

Tax Treaties

Australia has signed tax treaties with many countries to prevent double taxation and facilitate trade and investment. These treaties often contain provisions that limit or eliminate taxation on specific types of income earned by residents of both countries. Taxpayers need to consult the respective tax treaty to find out if their foreign income is exempt from taxation in Australia.

Important Considerations

While tax-free foreign income can provide significant benefits, it’s essential to consider the following points:

1. Reporting Obligations

Though at times your foreign income is tax-free, you have to report it in your tax return. Accurate reporting will help tax authorities to know your tax residency status and overall income. 

2. Currency Conversion

So when you calculate your foreign income, you have to convert it into Australian dollars using the applicable exchange rate. For this, you can take guidance from ATO on how to accurately convert foreign income into Australian dollars.

3. Specialist Advice

It is quite difficult to navigate the complexities of international tax laws. So it would be best to seek advice from a qualified tax professional or accountant who is well-experienced in international taxation to ensure compliance and help maximise any available exemptions or deductions.


We hope that now you know why you need to understand the rules surrounding tax-free foreign income. The tax treaties and exempt foreign employment income provide opportunities to minimise tax liabilities. But make sure to stay informed and accurately report foreign income, and seek professional advice to ensure compliance with Australian tax laws. And speaking of it, why not trust KPG Taxation which has expert tax accountants who are well-versed with international taxation and have years of experience to help you out.

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