2023 International tax & business

Australian expatriates: casualties of law

Published Date: 1 Jun 2023


Over the last 20 years, Australia’s international tax settings have changed in a way which has increased the tax burden on Australian expatriates. Too often they become “casualties of law”, their interests overlooked by poorly conceived, and sometimes politicised, tax policy and design. This article examines these changes and analyses major tax issues facing Australian expatriates at different stages of their expatriate journey. The article demonstrates how Australian expatriates can face higher taxes and significantly more complexity than fellow Australians. The tax issues examined include the ongoing legislative uncertainty relating to individual and corporate tax residency, the removal of both the 50% CGT discount and the main residence CGT exemption for non-residents, the forex rules, the treatment of foreign structures, and overseas retirements plans. This article also notes that an opportunity exists for the new Albanese government to address many issues to make them less burdensome and fairer for the Australian “diaspora”.

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2023 International tax & business

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