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Working overseas

Australian residents working overseas must be aware of their tax obligations before they leave Australia.

Last updated 14 June 2023

Australian residents working overseas need to be aware of their tax obligations before they leave Australia. Such as, if you have a higher education study or training support loan, you have an obligation to repay these while overseas.

You must declare all foreign and worldwide income, even if you pay tax in the country where you earn the income. This is because as an Australian resident for tax purposes you pay tax on your worldwide income. This includes:

  • if you provide a foreign service in a foreign country you need to include the foreign earnings in your tax return
  • declaring exempt foreign employment income in your tax return –we use this information to work out the amount of tax you have to pay on your taxable income.

When you pay tax on foreign income in the country you earn it, you may be able to claim a foreign income tax offset.

The easiest way to declare your foreign income while overseas is online. If you have a myGov account and you link to the ATO, you can access your account from overseas to:

  • prepare and lodge your tax return
  • manage and check your super
  • manage your contact details and other tax obligations.

You should check if there is a Bilateral social security agreement with the country where you are working. Australia has these with a number of countries. They can affect your superannuation.

Foreign service is service Australian residents provide in a foreign country as an employee or an office holder.