I'm an Australian citizen and I just got an offer to move to USA and work for an American company.

After I move, all my income will be from my salary and I won't have any income in Australia (apart maybe from interest in bank accounts - very little). I will obviously pay taxes on this income in USA.

Considering that the tax rates are lower in USA than in Australia, will I need to pay some tax in Australia too?

2 Answers 2


You only need to pay tax in Australia, if you are a considered a tax resident in Australia. Since you are leaving the country, and are going to live in the USA, you will probably be not an Australian resident anymore, so you don't need to pay taxes in Australia. The government has a site where you can check your tax residency.

There is also another page, which will describe what you need to do if you are leaving Australia, like doing your taxes for the current tax year. There might be also capital gains taxes you need to pay for some of your Australian assets if you intend to leave the country.

Also you will still need to lodge tax returns for any Australian income you might have:

If you become a foreign resident, you will only need to lodge a tax return if you have Australian income (ignoring any income from which non-resident withholding tax has been deducted, such as bank interest and unfranked dividends).

  • Thanks! That's what I thought. That was my first question on this site and I may stay for good now that I'm going to become an expat :)
    – Szymon
    Aug 18, 2014 at 0:39
  • Could they not still be liable to Australian taxes on any Australian-sourced income?
    – Gagravarr
    Aug 18, 2014 at 7:12
  • There's a treaty so if they pay the tax in the USA on the AU income, it offsets any AU liability, and not if you are not a resident for ATO purposes. Note that each country counts days differently. Note too that US taxes can be higher, not lower depending upon the locality and your personal circumstances. There is no break for a spouse if they are still in Oz.
    – mckenzm
    Dec 18, 2018 at 2:20

I've been in the US for almost a year now and paid Australian taxes for the last year in Australia so I decided to share my experience here to help others.

The answer by @SztupY is correct. I moved to USA in February 2015 so my tax residency in Australia for the tax year 2014-15 was 8 months (July 2014 to February 2015). I also became a US tax resident. So this is what I had to declare in my Australian tax return:

  • I declared my whole income until Feb 2015 as all of it was earned in Australia.
  • I also declared my Australian only income for months March to June (this was basically just interest from bank accounts in my case).
  • I didn't have to declare any US income.

My tax return was prepared by a professional accountant so the above is not just my opinion.

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