Inheriting money from overseas
Your options for transferring an inheritance to Australia.
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More guides on Finder
Money tips from AFR Rich Listers who actually made their own fortune
You don't need to inherit a pile of cash to be financially secure.
Picking stocks? Here’s why you should look at different sectors and countries
SPONSORED: We reveal how investing in stocks from different sectors and geographies can help your investment portfolio.
RelayPay cryptocurrency card and app
FInd out about how RelayPay works, what cryptos and fiat currencies it supports, the fees for using it and safety information.
How to buy Marqeta stock from Australia when it goes public
Here's everything we know so far about the Marqeta IPO and how to buy in from Australia.
Virgin Money Go Account
Virgin Money Go bank account: Pay no monthly account fees, earn points as you spend and earn bonus interest on a linked Virgin Money savings account.
International money transfer services
Beat the banks, find the best exchange rates and avoid fees when you send money abroad from Australia.
How to sell shares in Australia
All the key info you need to know to sell shares you inherited or received as a gift.
Review: TransferMate international money transfers
Learn about how TransferMate’s personal product works and what it can do for you.
Find out about the different types of warehouse storage solutions, how much they cost and where to find them.
5 money tips to help you get on top of your finances in 2021
SPONSORED: Even if you missed the GameStop rush and don't have a wallet full of Bitcoin, there are plenty of ways to fix up your finances – starting now.
International Money Transfer OffersImportant Information*
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.
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
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.
Ask an Expert