Kiwis in Australia: Tax Considerations

Kiwis who live in Australia should now be aware that they do not get permanent residency when they arrive at the border.  Instead they get a special category visa (SCV) that allows them to reside and work in Australia.  Depending on certain factors, including whether or not you are married to an Australian, applied and were granted residency, or arrived after 26 February 2011.  This SCV could be a non-protected special category visa.  Given the enormous amount of media attention recently in New Zealand around New Zealanders not being entitled to social welfare/assistance packages in Australia there also seems to be a lot of ignorance around a particular benefit of having this type of visa.

A SCV is essentially is a temporary visa.  This means that most SCV holders are treated as temporary residents for tax purposes.  The benefit of this treatment is that most forms of foreign income earned are deemed “non-assessable non-exempt income” for income tax assessment purposes.  This means that Kiwis resident in Australia generally don’t have to include certain types of foreign income in their Australian tax return.  Most Australian accountants provide incorrect advice to New Zealanders resident in Australian regarding the taxation of their foreign sourced income. It is important that you receive proper advice from an accountant or tax specialist prior to departing for Australia.

As an Accountant in East Auckland I frequently provide tax advice to Kiwis who are leaving for Australia so they can structure their affairs in the best possible way before leaving.  However, if you have already arrived in Australia it may not be too late to get appropriate advice for moving forward.  You can contact my office using this link.