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Leaving Australia Permanently – Tax & Super

If you’re leaving Australia permanently then you will need to complete a final tax return and you can also claim back your superannuation. Want to know how to do this.… follow the blog below! 

Tax Return Lodgement

Lodge your tax return before leaving Australia permanently

If you leave Australia permanently before the end of the financial year (30 June), sometimes called the income or payroll year, you may be eligible to lodge your tax return prior to the end of the period.

Unfortunately it is not an easy task to loge your tax return earlier in Australia. You have two main options;

  1. Lodge direct with the ATO
    • To lodge your tax return directly with the ATO prior to the end of the financial year you will need to use a paper tax return. This will take up to 50 business days for the ATO to process.
  2. Using a tax agent like One Click Life to lodge your tax return
    • To easily lodge your tax return prior to departing Australia, or when you arrive at your destination, you can simply book a meeting with a tax professional at One Click Life and they will lodge the return for you.

How do you qualify to lodge your tax return early

To qualify to be able to lodge your tax return early before you leave Australia as a foreign resident or Australian resident you need to be departing and either currently not, or intend to not be a resident of Australia for tax purposes. See below all conditions:

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

If neither of these situations apply to you, you will likely need to lodge your tax return during the normal lodgement period (1 July to 31 October). This will apply where one of some of the following applies to you:

  • are not leaving Australia permanently
  • will receive Australian-sourced income (other than interest, dividends and royalties) after leaving Australia
  • have one of the following:
    • Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt
    • Trade Support Loan (TSL) debt
    • Vocational education and training (VET) Student Loan debt. 

What information do I need to lodge an early tax return?

Assuming you meet the eligibility requirements set out above then read on to see what information you need to collate to lodge an early tax return and what steps you need to take.

  • You will need to obtain a payment summary (group certificate) from your employer(s). You will also need details of any other income you earned while in Australia. The ATO advise that payslips aren’t sufficient as they may not contain final payment details. One Click Life are able to obtain this information for you. You may also be able to obtain this information from the ATO directly through MyGov.
  • Do you have any outstanding tax lodgements required or debt with the ATO to repay. To find this out you can call the ATO through their contact page. You could also login to One Click Life to find out this information.
  • Lastly, you need to complete your paper tax return for individuals or contact a tax professional at One Click Life to finalise your tax position in Australia.

One you have completed and lodged your final tax return and the ATO has processed the tax return, you will receive a final notice of assessment to the postal address you write on your tax return. If you have lodged through One Click Life, you will receive electronically to your email address.

Leaving Australia Permanently – Departing Super Payment

Ok, now your tax is sorted, let’s get you your superannuation. If you worked in Australia, then you paid into superannuation and you have a small nest egg to recover. If your leaving Australia permanently you can apply to have this super paid to you as a departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) after you leave.

There are eligibility requirements similar to above. You will need to meet to following eligibility requirements to claim your super back. These are set out below:

  • you accumulated superannuation while working in Australia on a temporary resident visa issued under the Migration Act 1958 (excluding Subclasses 405 and 410)
  • your visa has ceased to be in effect (for example, it has expired or been cancelled)
  • you have left Australia and you do not hold any other active Australian visa
  • you are not an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or a permanent resident of Australia.

Before claiming your super back, check with your employer to confirm that they have paid all the super they are required to and there are no more payments for them to make.

Where is your super?

If you left 6 months ago or more and your visa has expired, your super fund will have transferred your super to the ATO and it will be treated as “unclaimed super money”.

You have two options to claim back your super. You can complete all the paperwork yourself, or request your tax agent to do this for you.

Authorising a tax agent to claim on your behalf

You can authorise someone else to apply for your super for you when you’re departing Australia. The person you authorise will be able to act on your behalf and update your information, so consider carefully who you allow to represent you.

Your representative will need a written authority from you before they can submit your super application.

DIY final super claim

You may be required to provide certified documents for your DASP application. It’s much easier to have documents certified in Australia, so we recommend you do this before you leave. Check with your super fund to confirm what documentation is required.

You need to complete the Application for departing Australia superannuation payment form (NAT 7204) and send one to each of your super funds to apply for your DASP.

Paper applications to super funds may incur a cost depending on the value of your super money. Your super fund will also require certified copies of your proof of identification documents.

It is much easier to certify documents while you are in Australia. There are specific rules about who can certify documents, so we recommend you do this before you leave. Check with your super fund to confirm what documentation is required.

For ATO-held super, use the Application for payment of ATO-held superannuation money (NAT 74880) and send it directly to the ATO. There are no costs for paper applications sent to the ATO.

If your Super value is $5,000 or more Paper applications to super funds require a Certification of Immigration Status from Home Affairs. Home Affairs charges a fee to issue this certificate. They will email it directly to you and the super funds you nominate.

The Certification of Immigration Status will include visa information if you have held a working holiday maker (WHM) visa. If the visa information on the certificate is incorrect, you will need to email [email protected] to correct your visa information and advise your super fund. Your super fund will use the visa information provided to determine the appropriate DASP tax rate.

You can request a Certificate of Immigration Status from Home Affairs using Form 1194 Certification of Immigration Status (PDF 290KB)This link will download a file

If your Super value is less than $5,000 you can provide evidence that you have left Australia and your visa has expired without completing the Certification of Immigration Status. Contact your super fund to find out what evidence you need to provide to support your application. However, if you are not able to provide the evidence yourself, your super fund may ask you for a Certification of Immigration Status from Home Affairs before they can process your application.

If you have held a WHM visa and have not applied for a Certification of Immigration Status from Home Affairs, you will need to provide your visa information on the paper application. The visa information you provide may be checked against Home Affairs records and your application may take longer to process if it does not match.

Form 1194 – More Information

  • Form 1194 is only required if your super balance is over $5,000.
  • If your visa is still active, you will need to cancel the visa first before you are given the Certificate from the Form 1194. Usually, you will be asked these questions by someone from Immigration and then you submit the Form 1194.
  • There is a fee you need to pay prior to submitting the Form 1194, and you must include proof of payment – as at 12/12/2023 the fee is $55.77 and needs to be paid via the Immi Website.
  • If your Visa is still active and expires within 6 months, you must wait for the Visa to expire before submitting the Form 1194 – you cannot request a visa cancellation.

More Tips

  • Keep your Australian bank account open for both the final tax refund and superannuation refund. Superannuation refunds cannot be transferred into a Trust Account – either your Aus Bank account or Cheque (posted to their overseas address or Tax Agent).
  • Super refunds usually take 2/3 months –  as long as all the docs are in order.
  • Adding onto the certifying documents, some super funds may want the originals  
  • Some superfunds will require the Tax Agent to fill out their authorisation form (third party authority to act/request info)

It is easier to use a tax agent to claim your super back when you’re departing Australia. It does come at a cost, however, it takes all the effort out of the process. At One Click Life, we’re set up to help with all your taxation requirements during and following your stay in Australia.

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