How to File Your Australia Taxes When Working Abroad

Posted on: 7 May 2019

If you're an Australian citizen working overseas, don't forget that you need to file your taxes in time. Even if you're not physically present in the country, you may still need to pay property taxes, taxes on investments and even business taxes (on any companies that you own).

It can be challenging to keep up with tax requirements when living abroad. And if you neglect your tax obligations, fines and penalties may accumulate faster than you think.

The good news is that there are many resources you can use to file your taxes accurately and on time. Read on to find out how.

Filing online is the best way

Because you're working far away, taking advantage of e-filing will help you prepare more cheap, accurate and timely tax returns. The ATO has improved its e-filing systems to make your data safe and the process easier to complete.

You can also take advantage of e-filing software to access an interactive and personalised user interface. Such software walks you through all steps of the filing process, including a checklist that you can use to avoid missing important information.

Work with a professional tax accountant

In addition to using software, it helps to have your return double-checked by an accountant. Tax regulations can become quite complicated, especially if you have investments, multiple properties or local businesses under your ownership.

A tax accountant can help you understand complex regulations and correct any mistakes that may be present on your return. And because efficient communication channels now exist (such as email, Skype, and instant messaging), you can always remain in touch with your tax professional and have your concerns addressed in good time.

Prepare all necessary documents in advance

As tax season approaches, you should give yourself a head start by gathering all your important documents early. Collect all your financial records, returns from past years and income records and keep them in an easily accessible place. Preparing early will make it easier for you to file on time and address any issues without delaying the return.

Consult your accountant for advice regarding the documents you will need to have.

Carefully review all information before submitting it

After you've prepared your tax return with the help of interactive software and a tax professional, you should take a second look at all your documents before filing. Your tax accountant may be able to help you pick out any unusual bits of information, but you're in the best position to identify any likely mistakes.

Filing an accurate return will reduce the stress associated with tax complications while abroad.