Tax - leaving Australia and lodging your tax return
If you are leaving Australia before the end of the financial year, you may be eligible to lodge your income tax return early.
Who can use this service?
Australian Taxation Office (ATO) policy is to accept early lodgement of tax returns for individuals prior to the end of the financial year only if:
- you are a non-resident of Australia for tax purposes, and
- you are leaving Australia permanently, and
- you will no longer derive Australian sourced income (excluding interest, dividend and royalty income)
- you are a resident of Australia for tax purposes, and
- you are leaving Australia, and
- ceasing to be a resident of Australia for tax purposes, and
- you will no longer derive Australian sourced income (excluding interest, dividend and royalty income).
Generally, most travellers from overseas are holiday makers and do not qualify as residents of Australia for taxation purposes.
If you are unsure whether or not you will continue to be a resident of Australia for tax purposes, read Residency – what you need to know .
If you are not leaving Australia permanently, or will receive Australian sourced income (other than interest, dividends and royalties) after leaving Australia, you should lodge your tax return during the normal lodgment period (1 July to 31 October).
Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will only accept lodgment of personal income tax returns. If you wish to claim a refund of franking credits, you will need to complete a tax return as refund of franking credit applications cannot be lodged before the end of the income year. The Refund of franking credits for individuals - application form can only be used by people who are Australian residents (for tax purposes) for the full income year.
What is needed to use this service?
If you meet the above eligibility requirements, you will need to:
- obtain a copy of Individual tax return instructions
- collect a payment summary from each of your employers plus details of any other income you have earned while in Australia
- contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on 132 861 to discuss general requirements such as the payment of any outstanding debts and lodgment of tax returns for earlier years. You will need 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 TaxPack 2011 to complete your return for the 2011–12 income year, cross out the 2011 and mark the tax return 2012).
- post your completed tax return to GPO Box 9990 in your Australian capital city.
Your assessment should be processed in approximately six weeks and will be sent to the postal address given on your tax return.
If you will be overseas during the lodgment period, but continue to be an Australian resident for taxation purposes, you should make the following lodgment arrangements:
- lodge online using e-tax
- send your tax return to us by post from overseas to
Australian Taxation Office
GPO Box 9845
SYDNEY NSW 2001
- have an Australian tax agent lodge your tax return, or
- have a friend or family member lodge a tax return on your behalf. You need to complete a Power of Attorney if the friend or family member signs the tax return on your behalf.