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Tax articles

HBC issues a periodical Tax aritcle that is designed to keep our associates and clients up to date with relevant tax law changes and news.


2015 Australian Federal Budget

for Australian Overseas

 HELP debts

From July 2017, people withAustralian government HELP debts who are working overseas will be required to make payments on their loans. They will have the same loan repayment obligations as those who reside in Australia, with anyone earning more than the threshold (A$53,345 in 2014–15) being required to contribute a portion of their income to loan repayments.

From January 2016, anyone with a HELP debt leavingAustralia for more than six months will be required to register with the ATO, while anyone already overseas will be required to register before July 2017.



The Government plans to save $168.6 million over four years from January 2016 by changing pension eligibility requirements for those living overseas. Australians on some types of pension, including the disability pension and the age pension, will have the rate of their payments cut after being overseas for more than six weeks, down from the previous limit of 26 weeks.


People from overseas coming to Australia on a working holiday will no longer be eligible for the $18,000 tax free threshold, and instead have to pay tax at 32.5 per cent on every dollar they earn up to $80,000.

The Commonwealth's are also set to benefit to the tune of $651 million over four years from tougher enforcement and penalties for foreign investment law breaches, especially related to real estate, as well as significant new application fees.

The budget forecasts that $735 million in extra revenue will be raised, while only $83.6 million is being budgeted to be spent on extra compliance and enforcement activities.

Foreign resident capital gains tax withholding regime

It was announced in the 2014 budget that from 1 July 2016, a 10 per cent non-final withholding tax will apply to the disposal ofAustralian property worth more than 2.5 million by non-residents.

This was not mentioned in this year’s budget, the status of this measure is unknown.

 For full details on the 2015 budget, you can visit the following link:

Keynote speaker at NAB
Please click here for the invitation to Tax Update Seminar on 3rd April 2014

Removal of the CGT discount for non-residents
The legislation for removing of 50% of capital gain tax discount for foreign individuals  has received royal assent on 29 June 2013.  The government will remove 50% discount on capital gains earned after 8 May 2012 by foreign individuals on taxable Australian property, such as real estate and mining assets. Foreign individuals will still be entitled to a discount on capital gains accrued before Budget night (after offsetting any capital losses), provided they choose to value the asset as at that time.  Please arrange to have the valuation done as soon as possible if you haven’t already done so.

Are you a frequent traveller? Do you know?
It is common for multinational companies to second expatriate employees to Hong Kong.
During their Hong Kong assignment period, these employees usually have regional responsibilities and are employed by a non-Hong Kong entity.
Under the current Hong Kongtax regime, if an individual can establish that a "non-Hong Kong employment" relationship exists with the employer, the portion of income attributable to their overseas days could be excluded in computing the Hong Kong salaries tax liability (i.e."time-apportionment claim")!

Letter to The Hon Wayne Swan

We have submitted a letter to the Australian Treasurer The Hon Wayne Swan on the 10th July 2012 regarding Proposed removal of 50% CGT discount for non-residents.

Please click here to download a free PDF copy.


News article at the Australian Chamber of Commerce of Hong Kong

Please click here to download a free PDF copy.




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