If you have a student loan and are planning on living abroad, you’ll need to let the ATO know

By Denise Honey - September 10, 2019

If you have an outstanding student loan and plan to live and work overseas for more than 183 days in any 12 month period, you’ll need to let the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) know within seven days of leaving.

This applies to people with the following types of loans:

  • Higher Education Loan Program (HELP – formerly known as HECS)
  • VET Student Loan (VSL)
  • Trade Support Loan (TSL)

If you were living and working overseas in the 2019 financial year, you have until the 31st of October to report your income to the ATO. Even if you can't pay straight away, you'll avoid a penalty for lodging late.

All individuals with an outstanding Australian student loan, who are not required to prepare an Australian tax return, and are living overseas will have filing obligation (either a non-lodgement form or worldwide income) with the ATO.

Further, Australian expats earning an income over the threshold of $45,881 for 2019/20 will need to be making repayments to their student loans as if they were still living in Australia and deriving Australian income.

Non-compliance with these rules can result in a fine of up to $3,000.

You can report your worldwide income online by accessing ATO online services through myGov, or through an Australian registered tax agent.

Do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss your own situation.

Contact our experts

Other articles


Top of Page


Rob Southwell

Rob Southwell's picture


Managing Partner and Partner – Private Business and Family Advisory

> View profile

Nigel Fischer

Nigel Fischer's picture


Managing Partner - Private Business and Family Advisory

> View profile

Michael Minter

Michael Minter's picture


Managing Partner

> View profile

Leon Mok

Leon Mok's picture


Managing Director

> View profile

Brendan Britten

Brendan Britten's picture


Managing Partner and Executive Director/Partner- Business Advisory and Assurance

> View profile

Ben Brazier

Ben Brazier's picture


Managing Principal

> View profile

Partnership fraud


Paperwork and independent advice saves partnerships from fraud

Discover more

Kia Ora Horse Stud


Pitcher Partners fills a Financial Manager gap to keep the business on track

Discover more

Fuel Injection Company Administration


A fuel injection company began life as an Australian public company before being acquired by a UK publicly listed company while in the research and development stage of a “green...

Discover more

@PitcherPartner AT THE TOP | Congratulations to Jason Fallscheer, Client Director of our Melbourne firm, who has been named in the… https://t.co/puCTwWDpCk