How to Declare Your Australian Real Estate Income as a Foreign Resident blog image

How to Declare Your Australian Real Estate Income as a Foreign Resident

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Lately, I have been coming across quite a few non-residence clients that have never done a tax return for their investment property. They weren’t aware of the fact that they have to lodge a tax return for their property in Australia. If you are in the same situation as some of our valued clients, hopefully this article will help.

If you are a foreign resident receiving rental income for your Australian real estate, you will have to declare your income in your tax return. In addition, if you sell your property, you must report the sale in your tax return and pay any applicable capital gains tax.

Obtaining a tax file number

Foreign residents that have an interest in Australian real estate should obtain an Australian tax file number (TFN) as soon as possible. This is so you can fulfil your Australian tax obligations.

Applying for a TFN will depend on your circumstances.

  • For foreign passport holders, permanent migrants, and temporary visitors, you must:
    • be in Australia
    • have one of the following visas:
      • a permanent migrant visa
      • a visa with work rights
      • an overseas student visa
      • a visa allowing you to stay in Australian indefinitely
    • Australian foreign residents can apply for a TFN in many ways. You may apply at Australia Post, at a Department of Human Services (Centrelink) centre, or by post.
    • If you are a foreign resident living outside of Australia, you can download and complete the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) application or enquiry for individuals living outside Australia form to apply.

Once you have obtained a TFN, you will now be able to lodge a tax return.

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Lodging an income tax return

Tax returns are due on 31 October every year, and it covers the financial year from 1 July to 30 June. You can lodge your tax return online by going to the ATO’s website. Just make sure you lodge before the 31 October deadline.

However, if you missed the deadline, the ATO allows registered tax agents, such as our Chan & Naylor property and business tax accountants, to lodge tax returns later than the 31 October deadline. We can also make sure that you legally pay the lowest tax amount possible for your property. You can contact our friendly team of business tax accounting specialists here should you need assistance with your tax return.


Aside from tax returns, have a look at our other accounting and advisory services that we do to help you achieve greater success.

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Chan & Naylor Group has nationwide offices in North Sydney, South West Sydney, Sydney, Pymble and Parramatta in New South Wales, Melbourne, Moonee Ponds and Hawthorn in Victoria, Brisbane and Capalaba in Queensland, and East Perth in Western Australia that can assist you with your real estate tax compliance as well as any other business or personal tax enquiry that you may have. Contact us today.



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