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Inheriting money from overseas

Your options for transferring an inheritance to Australia.

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If you are inheriting money from overseas you will want to know how to transfer it to Australia, but also what tax implications there may be. The good news is that, unless otherwise stated, you don't need to pay tax when receiving inheritance money from abroad. So it's more a case of choosing the right method for you in order to keep your transfer costs as low as possible.

Options for transferring an inheritance to Australia

Bank cheques and bank transfers are the most common ways to inherit money from overseas. But there are newer options such as using an international money provider or a foreign currency account which can reduce your money transfer costs.

International money transfer service

One of the easiest ways to transfer money from overseas is to use an international money transfer service. These specialist companies often provide a stronger exchange rate than your local bank and charge lower fees.

With most, you can set up a free account. Then you will be able to input your transfer details and see what rate and fees you will be charged. As with anything, it is best to compare a few quotes to make sure you are getting the best deal for you.

Foreign currency account

Another option is to open a foreign currency - or borderless account - and transfer the funds there. For example, Wise has a multicurrency account which offers competitive exchange rates and low fees. These types of accounts often allow you to transfer money from one currency to another at a click of a button, as well as spend in your local currency with your card and set up direct debits with supported territories to pay bills and subscriptions.

Bank cheque

Most of the time, when you inherit money from overseas, the 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 - which is not always the best on the market. It's also worth being aware that a bank cheque will take a long time to clear, so there are faster transfer methods available.

Bank transfer

Alternatively, you could arrange for the estate executor to deposit your inheritance directly into your Australian bank account. This is a quicker process than waiting for a cheque to clear. But the money transfer will still be subject to the bank's fees and exchange rate which typically cost more than using a specialist international money transfer service.

Which international money transfer company should I use?

Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.
1 - 20 of 23
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
TorFX
24 hours
$0

View details
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Send Payments
24 hours
$0

View details
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
HSBC International Money Transfers
24 hours
From $8

View details
Get real time exchange rates when markets are open with flat $8 fee for online international transfers.
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0

View details
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
OFX
24 hours
From $15

View details
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
XE Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0

View details
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
TorFX
24 hours
$0

View details
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Send Payments
24 hours
$0

View details
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
SingX
Within minutes
0.45%

View details
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.
Wise (TransferWise)
24 hours
From 0.35%

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
Instarem
Within minutes
From 0%

View details
Instarem offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.
Remitly
Within an hour
From $2.99

View details
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
CurrencyFair
Within minutes
From $0

View details
Special offer: New customers get unlimited fee-free transfers for their first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
$1.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Use the code ‘4FREEFINDER’ to get 4 free transfers if you are a first time user. Eligible countries only.

View details
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
MasterRemit
Within minutes
From $1

View details
Send money in minutes at competitive exchange rates with this Australian money transfer service.
SingX For Large Transfers
Within minutes
0.45%

View details
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.
WorldFirst Business Transfers
WorldFirst Business Transfers
24 hours
From $0

View details
All new customers who send more than AUD$10000 in June and July are eligible to receive a $300 Woolworths gift card. Conditions apply.
Open bank accounts in Australia, the UK, US, Canada, Japan and Europe. Send and receive funds with zero fees for large sums, including same-currency supplier payments.
Airwallex
Within minutes
$0

View details
Airwallex can help you make business payments to 23+ currencies using competitive interbank rates and no fees for most transfers.
TorFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0

View details
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Send business
Within minutes
$0

View details
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Is inherited money taxable in Australia?

In Australia, you don't need to pay tax on inheritance. An overseas inheritance is not taxable unless you are advised by the executor that a part of it is. If that is the case, it's advisable to seek professional tax advice.

There are cases where the estate could continue to make an income after the individual's death from the asset sale capital gains or interest accrued on savings accounts. So there may be some capital gains tax liability in these circumstances. Similarly, if you decide to invest your inheritance, you may be required to pay tax on any capital gains under Australia's Capital Gains Tax (CGT) laws.

If you are in any doubt at all, it is best to talk to a professional tax advisor to understand your tax obligations.

Your guide to capital gains tax.

Frequently asked questions

More guides on Finder

International Money Transfer Offers

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

Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.

Logo for TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX International Money Transfers

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

Logo for MasterRemit International Money Transfers
MasterRemit International Money Transfers

New customers get their first transaction for free with code FIRSTFREE. T&Cs apply.
Send money in minutes at competitive exchange rates with this Australian money transfer service.

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

$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.

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