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Foreign source income letter

What to do if you get a foreign source income letter from us and you disagree with the details we provide.

Last updated 18 December 2022

Receiving your letter

Income you need to declare includes all your worldwide income including foreign source income. Foreign income exempt from Australian tax may still be taken into account to work out the amount of tax you have to pay on your other income.

You may receive a letter if the information we receive shows you derived income or other taxable amounts from foreign sources that do not match the amounts in your tax return.

The letter will include a schedule showing the relevant information from your tax return compared with the information we hold.

All foreign income, deductions and foreign tax paid must be converted to Australian dollars before you include them on your tax return.

What you need to do

You need to review the foreign source income schedule and compare the information with your records. You can then determine if you agree or disagree.

If you have a question about your data-matching letter, phone us on 1300 768 912, and select option 3 between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday.

Quote the reference number from your letter when you contact us. You can find it at the top right of your letter.

Below is a sample of the foreign source income schedule on the letter. Keep in mind that your letter will contain your own details and may not look exactly like this. The definitions will help explain your schedule.

The transaction information in table 1 below has been given to us by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and shows international fund transfer instructions made to you from the country listed.

Table 1 – Reported foreign source income information for the 2022 financial year


Transaction date

Payer name

Assessable amount ($)









Total amounts reported: $12,000

The information in table 2 has been provided to us under authority of the Exchange of Information Agreements between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Foreign Country specified.

Table 2 – Reported foreign source income information for the 2022 financial year

Foreign revenue authority (country)

Type of income

Payer name

Tax amount ($)

Assessable amount ($)






Total tax reported: $0

Total assessable amount: $1,700

Definitions to understand your schedule

The following definitions will help you understand your schedule:

  • Financial year – the financial year to which the income relates.
  • Foreign revenue authority – an overseas government agency responsible for the collection of revenue in that country.
  • Type of income – the type of foreign source income you received (for example, interest, royalties, business profits, director’s fees, pension, capital gains or other income).
  • Tax withheld amount – the amount of tax that was withheld.
  • Assessable amount – gross income, including salary and wages, dividends, interest and rent from a foreign source, before any deductions are allowed (assessable income can also include net capital gains, eligible termination payments and other amounts from a foreign source that are not ordinarily classed as income).
  • Country – the country in which the transaction occurred.
  • Transaction date – the date of the transaction.
  • Payer name – the recorded payer of the transaction if available.

If you agree

If you agree with our information, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll send you an amended notice of assessment 56 days after the date shown on your letter. If you have a myGov account linked to ATO online services, we’ll send your amended notice to your myGov inbox.

If you have other foreign source income that you did not declare, you should advise us of these as part of this review.

Once you receive your amended notice of assessment, you'll need to pay any amounts you owe us by the due date.

If you disagree

If you disagree with the details reported, you need to let us know before the due date noted in your letter. You can contact us by either:

The internet isn't a secure environment and we don't control the path of inbound and outbound emails. If you choose to communicate with us by email, we can't guarantee the privacy of your personal information.

If you respond within 56 days

Once we’ve assessed your response, you’ll receive an amended notice of assessment. The case officer reviewing your supporting documents may contact you if we require additional information.

If you don't respond

If we don't receive a response from you within 56 days of your letter's date of issue, we’ll automatically amend your tax return using the information we have. You’ll then receive an amended notice of assessment.

Supporting documentation

If you disagree with information contained in the letter from us about your foreign source income, we may ask you to provide one or more of the following:

  • your PAYG payment summary or payslips from your foreign employer
  • your foreign tax assessments
  • the distribution advice for your company, partnership and trust, including deceased estates
  • your bank statements and/or certificates
  • your business schedules/accounts.
  • your foreign employment tax exemption details, including one or more of:
  • your employment contract or letter confirming you were allowed to return to Australia
  • your section 23AF approval letter
  • your employment contract to prove that you are a member of the Australian Defence Force and on eligible duty overseas
  • evidence that your deployment outside of Australia was by an Australian Government (or Australian Government authority) as a member of a disciplined force
  • evidence that your employer's activities are directly attributable to (one of):
  • delivering Australian official development assistance
  • operating a public fund declared by the Treasurer to be a developing country relief fund
  • operating a public fund in a foreign country to provide monetary relief to people who are distressed as a result of disaster (public disaster relief fund) (public disaster relief fund)
  • operating as a charitable or religious institution located in a foreign country that is exempt from Australian income tax.