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How do I carry money when moving to Australia?

There’s so much to think about when you’re moving to Australia, but one of the biggest concerns is making sure you have enough money to set yourself up when you arrive. Even after you’ve settled in, it may take time to sell your home or business, which means you could be bringing money into Australia for months or years. While it’s not against the law to bring funds into Australia there are some restrictions that it’s worth being aware of before you step on the plane.


Carrying money on the plane

You can carry cash into Australia in foreign currency, but if the amount you are carrying is worth over $10,000 you are required to declare it to the Customs authorities. This can include not only cash but also bearer negotiable instruments such as travellers’ cheques. The main reason large sums of money are required to be declared is to prevent money laundering, so it’s a good idea to also carry proof with you about where the money came from.

if you’re moving to Australia with family members and want to try and divide the money between you to avoid declaring it, you may be breaking the law. If you’re not sure, it’s best to speak to a legal advisor about what you can and cannot do.


Transferring funds once you’re here

There are no restrictions on transferring money to Australia. Although once again, if you want to mail or ship cash worth over $10,000 you will need to declare it. You can also transfer money to your bank account or through a third party agency.

If the money you’re transferring is income, then you may be required to declare it in your Australian tax return and pay tax on it. If it’s not income, like the proceeds from selling your family home for example, then you may be asked to prove this to the Australian Taxation Office. Before sending the money over, it’s a good idea to speak to an expert so they can advise you on the best way to do this.


Managing two tax authorities

Whether you earn income in Australia or overseas, you will be required to declare all of your income once you are a permanent tax resident. This includes interest, rental income, pensions, annuities or even the sale of investment properties. If you’re still paying tax in your home country you may be entitled to a credit for it in Australia, but this may depend on whether there is a Double Taxation Agreement in place. If you’d like to know more about your taxation and financial obligations in Australia, speak to one of our advisors at Pathway Lawyers & Migration Agents.


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