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Bringing money to Aus?
Posted: Saturday, August 14, 2010 4:19 PM
Joined: 14/10/2009
Posts: 2

I was wondering if you had some knowledge on brining savings back into Australia to buy property?
Posted: Saturday, August 14, 2010 6:18 PM
The first and most crucial step is seeking advice from a CPA (certified practicing accountant) that has experience with expats. People that are working overseas have certain advantages regarding tax and this is something the CPA should be able to advise you on. Essentially you need to confirm the number of days you spend outside Australia and where you are liable for tax overseas and in Australia. Australia has dual tax agreements with many nations and if your salary comes from a nation without tax I am lead to believe you tax burden to Australia is the same? Once again I’d get the facts before making any assumptions. Failing to declare your overseas income can have consequences and banks have been known to keep 10% of your salary wire transfers for tax withholding purposes. Again your accountant should be able to advise you and your bank on what should be done and if your current bank will not do as you wish there are plenty of banks to choose from in Australia. The principal hurdle you will have is not with Financial Institutions, it will be with the Australia Taxation Office and how you bring money into to the country and take care of you taxes in Australia and Overseas. Chucking large sums of money into a random bank account is not likely to get you in trouble, but failing to explain where the money came from if your unlucky enough to be audited by the ATO could very well be your worst nightmare. I used to own three places in Australia, brought money in and out without issue and paid very little tax because I used an accountant to keep my books. I no longer reside in Australia and currently have a tax credit for over $20000 which I have access to if I return home and start paying tax there. How my accountant managed to achieve this is beyond me.
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 7:13 PM
As mentioned above you need to be "officially" non-resident then you should have no problems. The ATO has a good site to explain residence status.

Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 7:54 PM
Ozzie tax residency is very hard to work out if you are a yacht. After having spoken with them anonymously unless you are a resident in another country and paying tax there you are liable in Australia. They didn't grasp the concept that you could be truly nomadic and live on yacht permanently. You can look at past rulings on their website. I have included one from the ATO website that should be an eye opener for ozzies. Unless you are truly a non resident you should be very very careful.. WHAT THIS RULING IS ABOUT: Is the income you derive for your services aboard a ship assessable income in Australia? THE SUBJECT OF THE RULING: You are employed as a seaman. You perform services outside of Australia aboard a ship which is managed by the marine services department of the company you work for based in a foreign country. You have been working outside of Australia for a period exceeding 2 years. At the time you departed Australia you did not have any clear intention of returning to Australia after a definite period of time. You do not intend to return to Australia in the near future. You do not return to Australia on a regular basis. You do not own any Australian assets other than an Australian bank account. The only income you derived in Australia in the 2001 income year was interest from your Australian bank account. You are not currently paying tax in any other country and you are unsure whether you are liable to pay tax in any other country. All of your foreign income is derived aboard a ship. Since your departure from Australia in February 2000, after each period aboard a ship, you spent the majority of your time travelling and visiting friends overseas. You are currently intending to make a foreign country your permanent place of residence. COMMENCEMENT OF ARRANGEMENT: 1 July 1999 RULING: Is the income you derive for your services aboard a ship assessable income in Australia? Yes.
Posted: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 8:49 AM
Contact Kim at They specialize in yachties buying property in Aus.
Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 11:11 AM
Joined: 01/12/2008
Posts: 62

these are all incredibly valid responses, the tax implication of suddenly appearing in Australia with a load of money earned elsewhere will raise eyebrows, especially at the moment.

it is definitely worth considering discussing this with a qualified Australian accountant but the bottom line is that if you are truly non resident in a country you shouldn't be liable to income tax there as you spend no time there.

according to the very useful website

Generally, an individual is Australian resident for tax purposes if he or she has always lived in Australia; has moved to Australia and now lives there permanently; or has been in Australia continuously for 183 days or more in a fiscal year and for most of the time has been in the one job and living in the same place, unless his or her usual home is overseas and he or she does not intend to live in Australia.

for more have a look at

Unfortunately there is little information about yacht crew, one key element to consider is that you owe tax where you LIVE and social security where you WORK. This generally means for yacht crew that their social security should be looked after by the flag state of the boat (where you work) and they should declare for income tax to the jurisdiction in which they spend most of their time. all countries have varied tax residency laws and as the boats move all the time then it is unlikely that you will have a true residency by time spent either. As soon as you own real estate or have wife/husband/children in an onshore location it is more likely that you should declare for tax there. this is an incredibly complex situation but a general rule of thumb that I suggest my clients consider if they are in any doubt as to where they should declare is this order:

1. declare to where you spend most time (especially if it is over 183days)
2. declare to where you own real estate
3. declare to your home country (nationality or where you have spent most time through your life).

this is very general and I normally find that the countries don't really know what to do with your declaration (as you are normally truly non resident.) but at least you can defend your reasoning and it is a better defence than 'I didn't know I had to'.

On another issue
- assuming you are truly non resident in Australia and are buying property as a non resident investor (which is perfectly fine) then you must consider the currency issue. ALWAYS look into using a currency broker rather than just using a bank, you can get better terms, no commission and no bank fees.

hope this helps


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