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LEAVING AUSTRALIA? HOW TO LODGE YOUR TAX RETURN EARLY?

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24
May

It’s no secret that Australia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. And if you are leaving Australia means your time as an Aussie has come to an end and you’re faced with the bittersweet farewell to new friends and the beauty of Australia. Oh, but wait! Don’t forget your tax return.
Every year the normal lodgement period is 1 July to 31 October. If you are leaving Australia before the end of the income year (30 June), you may be able to lodge early or even claim your refund.

Eligibility to lodge an early tax return

Whether you are a foreign or Australian resident for tax purposes, you may qualify to lodge your tax return early. There are some eligibility requirements to lodge tax return early. The ATO will accept early lodgement for individuals before the end of the income year if you fulfil the following requirements:
If you are a foreign resident for tax purposes and

  • You are leaving Australia permanently;
  • You will no longer receive Australian-sourced income (other than interest, dividend and royalty income). If you are an Australian resident for tax purposes and
  • You are leaving Australia permanently;
  • You are ceasing to be an Australian resident for tax purposes, and 
  • You will no longer receive Australian-sourced income (other than interest, dividend and royalty income).

Still earning an Australian income or plan to move back?
If you continue to receive Australian sourced income after leaving the country permanently, you cannot lodge your tax early. You will need to lodge between 1 July and 31 October. The same applies if you do not plan to leave Australia permanently. Not to worry though. In that case you can lodge your tax return online no matter where in the world you are.

How to lodge an early return
If you meet the eligibility requirements outlined above, you will need to:

  • Obtain a copy of the individual tax return instructions from the ATO;
  • Collect a payment summary from each of your employers plus details of other income earned in Australia. Payslips are not sufficient enough as they may not contain final payment details;
  •  Contact the ATO to discuss general requirements such as the payment of any outstanding debts and lodgement of tax returns for earlier years (you will need to have your tax file number and other identifying information such as your previous year’s notice of assessment to establish proof of identity);
  • Complete your tax return, and mark the relevant year in bold on the front of the tax
    return (for example, if you are using Individual tax return instructions 2015 to complete your return for the 2015-2016 income year, cross out the 2015 and mark the tax return 2016);

  • Post your completed tax return to:

Australian Taxation Office

GPO Box 9845

IN YOUR CAPITAL CITY

Do not substitute your actual city, there is a special arrangement with the ATO and Australia
Post to leave as is on the envelope.

How long does it take to process?
The ATO early lodgement service has a standard processing time of 50 business days. Your assessment will be sent to the postal address you write on your tax return. If you are suffering from financial hardship, you may qualify for priority processing.


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