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Somifar

A few partner visa questions

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Dear All,

I am currently living together with my partner (we have been living together for a total of 3 years 2 months with full records like bills and documents).

I, an Australian Citizen (with a British De facto) I believe have a few outstanding tax things to take care of. This was related to HECS debt and having to submit tax returns while overseas for overseas income. It was not a thing when I left Australia and it seem I have a few years where this has been outstanding.

I am completely happy to fix this up and submit the details / settle any tax etc. as it obviously is owed and so on, although I have been out of the loop after living overseas for 10 years. I feel like I need help to get this sorted out and I think will need a tax agent.

My question is, I was thinking of coming back to Australia trying to see a tax agent while in Australia and sort out my tax while there and I'll be with family, able to easily meet with tax agent / work through things.

  • Does leaving my de facto partner overseas and trying to go to Australia to sort this out complicate things? E.g. I have all of the rental agreements / utilities in my name and loads of proof, but does me temporarily being in Australia (with the aim of sorting the tax stuff out) create an issue? 
  • If so, should I try to sort out the tax stuff while overseas?
  • - Can I submit an application while there are tax issues in place provided that I am working on them at the same time and provide proof that the tax is settled or an agreement or so on is in place prior to the issuing of the partner visa?
  • - I am not against getting married per se, although not in a rush to do so. Would this make things any easier?


Ideally if the tax stuff was sorted I would just apply overseas while we are still in the same apartment. I am OK to be apart from her for a few months while the visa is being processed, but I am concerned if we are still considered de facto in this time period or if we can actually apply while I am not physically living with her at that moment in time.

Best

S

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Somifar said:

... This was related to HECS debt and having to submit tax returns while overseas for overseas income. It was not a thing when I left Australia and it seem I have a few years where this has been outstanding...

 

How long ago did you leave Australia, I ask because the requirement to submit tax returns for overseas income and pay student loan repayments has existed for many decades it isn't a recent requirement

It was certainly a thing when you left Australia, it may not have been a thing you were aware of but it most certainly was a thing.

Edited by Ausvisitor

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Somifar said:

Dear All,

I am currently living together with my partner (we have been living together for a total of 3 years 2 months with full records like bills and documents).

I, an Australian Citizen (with a British De facto) I believe have a few outstanding tax things to take care of. This was related to HECS debt and having to submit tax returns while overseas for overseas income. It was not a thing when I left Australia and it seem I have a few years where this has been outstanding.

I am completely happy to fix this up and submit the details / settle any tax etc. as it obviously is owed and so on, although I have been out of the loop after living overseas for 10 years. I feel like I need help to get this sorted out and I think will need a tax agent.

My question is, I was thinking of coming back to Australia trying to see a tax agent while in Australia and sort out my tax while there and I'll be with family, able to easily meet with tax agent / work through things.

  • Does leaving my de facto partner overseas and trying to go to Australia to sort this out complicate things? E.g. I have all of the rental agreements / utilities in my name and loads of proof, but does me temporarily being in Australia (with the aim of sorting the tax stuff out) create an issue? 
  • If so, should I try to sort out the tax stuff while overseas?
  • - Can I submit an application while there are tax issues in place provided that I am working on them at the same time and provide proof that the tax is settled or an agreement or so on is in place prior to the issuing of the partner visa?
  • - I am not against getting married per se, although not in a rush to do so. Would this make things any easier?


Ideally if the tax stuff was sorted I would just apply overseas while we are still in the same apartment. I am OK to be apart from her for a few months while the visa is being processed, but I am concerned if we are still considered de facto in this time period or if we can actually apply while I am not physically living with her at that moment in time.

Best

S

There isn't any reason why you can't go on an extended holiday to visit family whilst also being in a defacto relationship.

It's a relationship not a sentence to spend every minute together 😉

That said some of it is down to duration, I would suspect a 2 month visit would be seen as perfectly normal, and plenty of people are sent away with work whilst still being in a relationship.

However the sooner you get the tax sorted the better, the fines/interest on some of the older years alone could be quite eye watering as interest accrued daily from the point it is overdue (which is 10 years ago potentially in some cases)

The ATO interest rate on late payments is 7.1% a year so if you owed $1000 on your 2012 tax return you now owe $1,942 after interest

(Of course they could owe you money!)

Edited by Ausvisitor

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5 hours ago, Somifar said:

My question is, I was thinking of coming back to Australia trying to see a tax agent while in Australia and sort out my tax while there and I'll be with family, able to easily meet with tax agent / work through things.

  • Does leaving my de facto partner overseas and trying to go to Australia to sort this out complicate things? E.g. I have all of the rental agreements / utilities in my name and loads of proof, but does me temporarily being in Australia (with the aim of sorting the tax stuff out) create an issue? 
  • - Can I submit an application while there are tax issues in place provided that I am working on them at the same time and provide proof that the tax is settled or an agreement or so on is in place prior to the issuing of the partner visa?
  • - I am not against getting married per se, although not in a rush to do so. Would this make things any easier?

In this day and age, there is absolutely no reason to see a tax agent face-to-face.   The other complicating factor is that you can't fix your Australian tax in isolation -- the British and Austalian tax need to be considered together, so you need a tax agent who knows both systems well.   There aren't many of them around.  The most recommended is @Alan Collett and he can consult with you online and on the phone, so it doesn't matter where you are. 

You mention that everything is in your name, which rings an alarm bell for me.  Proof of living together comes from having a SHARED life.  If you have no shared bills, leases or accounts, how are you planning to prove your life has been shared all this time, and she's not just your lodger?

I don't believe the tax issues will be a problem for the partner visa but it's better to be safe than sorry.  Besides, the longer you leave it, the worse the fine will be, so it should be your priority.

Getting married before you apply will make no real difference.  There is a Prospective Marriage Visa which you can get, if you want to marry in Australia.  All it does it allow her to come and live in Australia for a few months to get married, then you still have to apply for the partner visa thereafter.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, due out August 2022

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6 hours ago, Somifar said:

 I believe have a few outstanding tax things to take care of ... having to submit tax returns while overseas for overseas income. It was not a thing when I left Australia and it seem I have a few years where this has been outstanding.
 

Do you mean submit tax returns while overseas for Australian income? A non-resident generally doesn't pay tax on non-Australian income.

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3 hours ago, Ausvisitor said:

How long ago did you leave Australia, I ask because the requirement to submit tax returns for overseas income and pay student loan repayments has existed for many decades it isn't a recent requirement

It was certainly a thing when you left Australia, it may not have been a thing you were aware of but it most certainly was a thing.

This is not correct, this requirement was introduced in 2017.  Prior to that if you were not earning in Australia you had no requirements to make any HEC / HELP repayments or to inform the ATO of your overseas income.  

I would note that my wife (who left in 2004) was not aware of this until we returned, and it made no difference to her being my sponsor for the partner via.  I would still sort it out, but I would not wait to apply because of it.


PR (100) moved to Perth September 2021

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Jon the Hat said:

This is not correct, this requirement was introduced in 2017.  Prior to that if you were not earning in Australia you had no requirements to make any HEC / HELP repayments or to inform the ATO of your overseas income.  

There still is no requirement for a person tax resident outside Australia to inform the ATO of their non-Australian income (which is the OP’s current circumstance). 

I think confusion has arisen here because, as I said in my previous post, the OP appears to be under a misapprehension or maybe just mistyped his or her belief about Australian tax lodgement obligations. 
 

 

Edited by DIG85

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1 hour ago, DIG85 said:

There still is no requirement for a person tax resident outside Australia to inform the ATO of their non-Australian income (which is the OP’s current circumstance). 

I think confusion has arisen here because, as I said in my previous post, the OP appears to be under a misapprehension or maybe just mistyped his or her belief about Australian tax lodgement obligations. 

This is also not correct - if you have HECS / HELP debts you are obliged to declare your overseas residence to the ATO and then make an annual declaration of your income for them to determine if you must make any repayments.  Essentially moving overseas has not allowed you to pause your HECS / HELP obligations since 2017.  It is not actually a tax return, but looks quite like one. 


PR (100) moved to Perth September 2021

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Posted (edited)

The main thing you need to think about is this in relation to the VISA applicant, not the sponsor :

If you or any family members (including those who don't apply for the visa with you) owe the Australian government money, you or they must have paid it back or arranged to pay it back.

This is not for the Sponsor. If you have a HELP or HECS debt or possibly even Tax Debt, you can still sponsor a person. The main thing is whether you have a criminal conviction or record, and fines/tax debts are not criminal matters. It's criminal when things involve fraud, tax evasion etc... and you have a court ruling with a conviction on this. If you don't have a criminal conviction, it's not something they look at I believe.

 

DISCLAIMER: Not a registered agent, but have done many VISA applications.

Edited by psuwara

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