We have become aware of the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) issuing pro-forma letters to individuals who are living overseas or who have recently spent time abroad. The default position on these letters assert that the individual is an Australian resident for taxation purposes.

These letters require a response to the ATO within 28 days. The recipient’s response must clearly demonstrate that they are non-residents.

If the deadline is missed, the ATO will automatically issue default assessments on the basis that the recipient is an Australian tax resident (and therefore assessable on income earned anywhere in the world).

If you have received one of these letters, we recommend a considered and timely response to the ATO. Your explanation must demonstrate the relevant facts and circumstances.

If you would like assistance with this matter or you are thinking about working overseas and want to understand your Australian taxation obligations while you are away, please contact Murray Howlett, Josh Meggs or Kylee Smith from our Taxation Services Division on (07) 3023 1300.