Aussies abroad with student debt

sabre_ac

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Sep 10, 2000
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As of last year, the Australian government implemented a program to enforce repayment of the government-issued student debt for Australians abroad, previously there was no requirement and it resulted in many Australians avoiding repaying their debt altogether.

https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Study-and-training-support-loans/Overseas-repayments/

The truth is it was probably long overdue and I suspect those required to make repayments would also agree. I am curious how the Australian government would enforce this (for people never planning on coming back) and if there are any stories of enforcement.

Has anyone on this site been caught up in this regulation or know of someone that has, what was their experience?
 

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Mockcockpit

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The tax office lets you self report foreign income and good luck to them if they want to prove the figure I gave them wasn't the right one. The tax office here certainly doesn't know.
 

Reynolds Number

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I have been overseas since late last year I am still required by law apparently to declare my foreign income (I have worked out that I will get a generous refund if I do anyway due to the high tax rate for the first 6 months of work).

I have a friend (ex-Freo BF poster) who has been in Argentina since 2017 and has not filed an ATO tax return because the ATO wouldn't accept his overseas phone number.

I wonder how many Aussies actually file tax returns whilst working overseas.
 

Golden_6

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I don't think it will affect to many people who permanently migrate overseas. If you plan on returning to Australia in the future you might have more of an issue.
 

sabre_ac

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I don't think it will affect to many people who permanently migrate overseas. If you plan on returning to Australia in the future you might have more of an issue.
You'll get hit if you have any ties to Australia, including potential inheritance etc.

I'd recommend filing the return and repaying, the wheels of government turn slowly but they do turn and it'll catch up with people who have avoided it.

One thing I noticed is if you make a voluntary repayment, that doesn't count towards your assessed payment requirement. For example, if you file a tax return and it comes back stating you owe 8k, you have to pay 8k regardless of any voluntary repayments you made during the year
 

It Just Is

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Can suck it!
I’m also curious about this. What’s the worst that can happen if you ever return to Oz? Make the repayment + a small fine or interest?

Think I’ll be taking my chances.
 

sabre_ac

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Sep 10, 2000
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I’m also curious about this. What’s the worst that can happen if you ever return to Oz? Make the repayment + a small fine or interest?

Think I’ll be taking my chances.
My guess is the ATO will wack on an interest rate for past due payments, probably similar to the current interest rate they charge for late payments which appears to be 8.5%

.

Australians aboard on working holidays or low paying jobs/cash jobs are fine.

The real problems will be reserved for Australians who move aboard "permanently", make good money and at some stage in the future have an estate or inheritance that needs to be settled. Between be classified as non-resident, the HECs principle and then the HEC'S compounded interest, you may not end up with much left.
 

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