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Inheriting money from overseas

Your options for transferring an inheritance to Australia.

Updated

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If you’ve been left an inheritance from overseas, unless otherwise stated, you don’t need to pay any tax on it. Instead, you should focus on getting the best rate for the international money transfer. You have three options when transferring money to Australia.

Options for transferring an inheritance to Australia

Bank cheques and bank transfers are the most common ways to inherit money from overseas, but using an international money transfer company is another option to consider.

Bank cheque

Commonly, the executor of the overseas estate will give you a bank cheque that you can deposit in your Australian bank account. The cheque should be made out in the foreign currency and will be subject to the exchange rate your bank offers when you deposit the cheque.

Compared to the other international transfer methods discussed on this page, a bank cheque takes the longest time to clear.

Bank transfer

You can also arrange for the estate executor to deposit your inheritance directly into your Australian bank account.
An international bank transfer is quicker than waiting for a cheque to clear, but the money transfer will still be subject to the bank’s exchange rate.

International money transfer company

Another option is to use an international money transfer company. These companies specialise in foreign exchange and provide a bank-beating rate.

Although there are a few extra steps involved in setting up an account with an international money transfer company, depending on the amount being sent, you could save thousands of dollars.

Which international money transfer company should I use?

Use the comparison table to find out which international money transfer company is going to give you the best rate. You can enter the amount you’re set to inherit and select the currency you wish to convert.

Click the table heading to sort the international money transfer companies by features such as the exchange rate, transfer time and transfer fee.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.708 USD
7,081
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
Send money overseas in 30+ currencies with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.708 USD
7,081
SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.708 USD
7,081
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days AUD 0.00 0.708 USD
7,081
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. No transfer fee over AUD$10,000.
Go to site Show details
GBP 3,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.708 USD
7,081
Global Reach will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.
Get no fees for both business and personal transfers when you send your money overseas with Global Reach.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 day AUD 52.00 0.707 USD
7,037
Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to $3,000.
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
Go to site Show details
AUD 0 Same day AUD 2.99 0.703 USD
7,029
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Affordable transfers around the world with both express and economy options. Express transfers delievered in as little as 10 minutes for an extra fee.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 0.00 0.707 USD
7,074
Get fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 - 2 days AUD 50.00 0.711 USD
7,069
Exclusive: Use code FINDER10 to receive US$10 off your first transaction.
Quick and simple international money transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers. Zero-margin rates on some currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.704 USD
7,037
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 3.99 0.702 USD
7,021
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers


The "Rate" and "Amount Received" displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention "Finder" before you commit to a brand.

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TorFX Logo

Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options. Our foreign exchange experts offer a best rate guarantee, are ASIC authorised and never charge transfer fees.

They can help you with all your needs including:

  • Buying property abroad
  • Emigrating
  • Regular overseas payments
  • Risk management
  • Forecasting

The steps to take when setting up an account with an international money transfer company

Receiving a bank cheque or bank account deposit is convenient, but your inheritance will go further if you use the services of a foreign exchange specialist.

You can set up an account in a couple of simple steps.

Once you fill in your personal details on the money transfer company’s website, you will be contacted by a customer service representative to confirm your identification and discuss your international money transfer needs.

Overseas inheritance and taxes

Unlike countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, Australia does not have a gift or inheritance tax. You don’t need to pay tax on inheritances or gifts given to you from a person living overseas, or in Australia.

There’s an exception if the estate executor has told you that you’ll need to pay tax. It’s advisable to seek professional advice in this instance.

If there is a tax due in an overseas country, it will be paid from the estate and obligations will be settled before the money is transferred to your Australian account. For example, an estate can still generate an income after death.

The importance of keeping records for your tax return.

Investing inheritance in Australia

If you invest your inheritance in Australia, for example, in a savings account, property or shares, you’ll need to pay tax on any capital gains under Australia’s Capital Gains Tax (CGT) laws.

Did you know?

Austrac monitors international money transfers to Australian bank accounts from overseas.

Your guide to capital gains tax.

More guides on Finder

International Money Transfer Offers

Important Information*
Logo for TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX International Money Transfers

TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
Send money overseas in 30+ currencies with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.

Logo for SendFX International Money Transfers
SendFX International Money Transfers

SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.

Logo for WorldFirst International Money Transfers
WorldFirst International Money Transfers

Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.

Logo for OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers

$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. No transfer fee over AUD$10,000.

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