If you have a student loan and are planning on living abroad, you’ll need to let the ATO know

By Denise Honey - September 10, 2019

If you have an outstanding student loan and plan to live and work overseas for more than 183 days in any 12 month period, you’ll need to let the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) know within seven days of leaving.

This applies to people with the following types of loans:

  • Higher Education Loan Program (HELP – formerly known as HECS)
  • VET Student Loan (VSL)
  • Trade Support Loan (TSL)

If you were living and working overseas in the 2019 financial year, you have until the 31st of October to report your income to the ATO. Even if you can't pay straight away, you'll avoid a penalty for lodging late.

All individuals with an outstanding Australian student loan, who are not required to prepare an Australian tax return, and are living overseas will have filing obligation (either a non-lodgement form or worldwide income) with the ATO.

Further, Australian expats earning an income over the threshold of $45,881 for 2019/20 will need to be making repayments to their student loans as if they were still living in Australia and deriving Australian income.

Non-compliance with these rules can result in a fine of up to $3,000.

You can report your worldwide income online by accessing ATO online services through myGov, or through an Australian registered tax agent.

Do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss your own situation.


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