Recovery of HELP debts from non-residents living overseas

10 Nov
higher education loan program australiaTHE AUSTRALIAN HIGHER EDUCATION LOAN PROGRAM (HELP).

From 1 July 2017 the Australian Government has introduced new repayment obligations for Australians living overseas who have an outstanding Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt.

This will bring the repayment obligations in line with those with HELP debts living in Australia.   Until now, people with a HELP debt that moved overseas and became a non-resident of Australia for tax purposes were under no obligation to repay their debt as long as they remained overseas and therefore non-resident of Australia.

The repayment thresholds for non-residents will mirror the thresholds that currently exist for Australian tax residents.  The taxable income calculation used for this purpose for non-residents will include their worldwide income and as a result there are additional reporting obligations that will be required for non-residents that have an outstanding HELP debt.

All non-residents with a HELP debt who are either living overseas or about to move overseas, will be required to lodge an overseas travel notification advice with the ATO either via your MyGov account, or alternatively your Stratogen accountant can report this information to the ATO on your behalf.

Additionally, the non-resident will be required to report their worldwide income to the ATO each financial year to enable the ATO to calculate the required repayment obligation.  The reporting of the worldwide income must be undertaken prior to the 31st of October of each financial year.  Penalties can apply for late reporting and failing to report the information to the ATO.

More information : If you would like more information about HELP (Higher Education Loan Program) changes, please contact your Stratogen accountant for advice.

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