Inheriting money from overseas

Your options for transferring an inheritance to Australia.

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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 0.737 USD
7,369
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.
Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days AUD 0.00 0.737 USD
7,369
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.737 USD
7,369
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.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 0.00 0.736 USD
7,362
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 3.99 0.731 USD
7,307
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.
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AUD 1 1 - 2 days AUD 45.00 0.737 USD
7,335
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies. Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 - 2 days AUD 50.00 0.739 USD
7,356
Exclusive: New customers sending over AUD 500 from Australia use cod FINDER50 to get AUD 50 off. Pay zero fees on your first transaction. T&Cs apply.
Instarem offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.
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AUD 1 1 day AUD 52.00 0.736 USD
7,324
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.
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AUD 10 Within an hour AUD 2.99 0.732 USD
7,315
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.
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AUD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.737 USD
7,368
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.

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.

Logo for Send International Money Transfers
Send International Money Transfers

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.

Logo for XE International Money Transfers
XE International Money Transfers

XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.

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