Australian Expats’ Financial Guide When Returning Home for Good

Australian Expats’ Financial Guide When Returning Home

Moving comes with financial challenges that you must face. It is the same for when you leave your adopted home and return to Australia for good. But there are ways to help you save money and create a financial plan to avoid costly problems.

Start planning early

A lot of things on the financial front will be affected when you move back home. These include your tax situation, your savings and investments, your retirement plans, and your pension arrangements.

If all these aspects exist both in Australia and abroad, you have to make arrangements to take care of those you will leave behind and prepare those that need to be activated when you go back to Australia. For instance, you may need to sell your property abroad. If you choose to keep it, you need to work out the tax requirements.

Set money saving goals

Early on and throughout the repatriation process, you need to save money to fund your return and it’s always best to start early.

Make sure that you set realistic saving targets. How much cash do you need to save every month to reach your goal? Track it regularly.

Consider your family home

If you still have a family home in Australia, you need to consider whether or not it has to be upgraded to accommodate the changes in your family. More children coming home with you than you arrived with, perhaps?

There are tax benefits to living in the same property that you left behind when you left Australia. Any tax losses that you suffered while out of the country will be returned to you. With regard to capital gains tax, the property will be pro-rata tax-free.

If you need to buy a property, do so, well in advance. One of the good money-saving tips is to call a mortgage broker first before searching for potential property investments. This way, you will know your eligibility for a loan and your borrowing capacity.

Declare all your income and assets

The government knows almost everything in relation to your finances, so declare all your income and assets. Then, find ways to manage any tax implications you might face.

  • Shares you purchased abroad will become taxable when you return to Australia, including those listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. It is recommended that you declare any dividends upon your return, and prepare to pay taxes for profits made above the market value.
  • Declare any interest earned on your cash savings and any gains made when the currency exchange is applied.

Transfer your pension funds

If you have an overseas pension fund, transfer it to a superannuation fund within 6 months for some tax advantages. You have the option to continue paying into your overseas pension fund or stick to a new arrangement in Australia.

Due to the complexity of tax and superannuation legislation, it is best to seek professional advice.

Bring in cash and savings

This is one of the best money-saving tips when repatriating to Australia. Cash and savings brought back are actually tax-free. What is taxable would be the earnings made on this sum once you’re back home.

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