Overseas HELP Repayment Obligations

I just noticed this, which says that as as of 1 July 2017 we now have to declare our worldwide income just to be assessed for HELP repayment -

What I'm wondering is what happens if you don't declare your worldwide income?


  • +1 vote

    How did you get HELP if you are not a citizen or resident? Or are you non-resident just for tax? If so looks like you have to lodge your worldwide income if you exceed the threshold.


    I'm still a citizen but became a non-resident for tax purposes after moving to a new home overseas. I understand what the webpage says. I'm trying to understand how it works in practice. If you don't declare your worldwide income will it be treated the same way as tax evasion? Can they even find out what you're earning outside of Australia and will they bother just for HELP repayments?

  • +3 votes

    It's more likely to be a breach of HELP conditions. As to what will happen in practice, I have no idea, but it's your gamble.

    I assume these conditions are there because there are people who get HELP, go overseas, get paid well, and never repay HELP.

  • +1 vote

    When this was being discussed prior to being introduced, they were looking at using the NZ system

    Upon re-entry to Australia you will be flagged as having a HELP debt,
    exit from Australia will be denied without proving foreign income and agreeing to make payments.
    failure to make agreed payments would result in refusal of exit visa until amounts owed are paid.

    So i guess if u never intend on returning to Aus, then don't worry about declaring i guess.

    Be aware that currently some FTA's allow for income earned in some parts of Asia, the UK and USA to be tracked by the Aus government (passport linked)

    they would not be introducing this system without a plan to ensure its followed.

  • +10 votes

    oh look.. someone else trying to rip off the public purse….

  • +11 votes

    It would be best for you to just pay back the loan Australian taxpayers provided you with so the system is sustainable for your fellow Australian citizens needing HELP


    Australia has info sharing agreement with certain countries. They will flag you if you have HELP debt. And cross reference this.

    Pay your taxes. People are complaining taxes are high, yet they're also complaining they don't get any benefits from the government. What do you expect when no one wants to pay their fair share of tax?


      What do you expect when no one wants to pay their fair share of tax?

      Hope you say that to the negatively geared property investors who are able to exploit a loophole to evade tax - ahem….rather they would like to call it 'avoid' tax.


        i guess the difference is one is legal while the other is not?


          Correct, and look what this legal loophole has done to house prices and attainability for our young folk. There was never a problem as huge as this before.


          @momov3: Negative gearing is certainly a contributing factor but I wouldn't say it is the only reason for housing affordability issues


        I don't think negative gearing is the only reason for the housing affordability issue. Another potential factor is the 'cheapness' of australian property compared to elsewhere, ie China. But we are digressing from the topic.

        Yes OP, needs to report his income. He can try to avoid it, but if he gets caught, I don't really want to see a post about how he is in trouble and needs advice from this forum ala car insurance issues.

  • +1 vote

    Same position as you - AU citizen with HELP debt, now non-resident for tax purposes. This will fall under similar "self-reporting" obligations as with the rest of the AU tax system.

    You can declare whatever you want and pay the resulting tax bill. If you ever get audited, you will need documents to prove that your worldwide income is what you have declared it is. If you can't do that to required burden of proof, then you're in a spot of bother.

    All smooth sailing until you get pinged by the ATO. Agree with other comments above that if you have no AU assets or income and aren't planning on coming back to the country, then you have nothing to worry about. As a citizen, I would definitely keep on top of this and make the repayments. They really are small amounts relative to salary coming in.

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