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Are you a resident or non-resident?

The Tax Office views residency in an entirely different way to other Australian governmental agencies which deal with things like immigration, visas and citizenship. Whether you're defined as a resident or non-resident for tax purposes, this doesn't have any impact on your passport or even your status as a permanent resident.

The Tax Office is really only interested in your earnings, and uses the term "resident for tax purposes" to help it decide how much you should be taxed for a financial year (July 1 to June 30).

While there are many ways of determining if your personal situation makes you a "resident" or a "non-resident" for tax purposes (here is one of them, a tool from the Tax Office) generally, you are an Australian resident for tax purposes if you:
  • have always lived in Australia
  • have moved to Australia to live here permanently
  • have been in Australia for more than half of the financial year (unless your usual home is overseas and you do not intend to live in Australia)
  • have been in Australia continuously for six months or more and have been living in the one place, in the one job.

Australia imposes different rates of tax on residents and non-residents. Non-residents pay a higher rate. If you are a non-resident of Australia, you will need to lodge an income tax return if you have income that is taxable in Australia. Click here to find out more about non-residents and tax returns.