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Transferring money ahead of immigrating, selling a property or inheriting money from family overseas? Whatever your reasons for sending money to Australia, there's a lot to consider.
You can't avoid the laws and legal paperwork that go along with transferring large amounts of money. So before you move your cash into Australia, familiarise yourself with these laws and regulations.
If you're receiving more than AUD$10,000 or a foreign currency equivalent, this will need to be reported to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). This is to help reduce the risk of money laundering or terrorism financing.
Any amount of money transferred into Australia as international funds transfer instruction (IFTI) must have an IFTI-E report submitted within 10 business days. Some money transfer providers, which often solely send money between countries, sometimes have reporting thresholds as low as AUD$1,000.
Outside of large sums needing to be reported to AUSTRAC, you will also need to be aware of any tax implications of someone sending a large amount of money to you in Australia. Depending on the reason why it has been sent, then you may be on the hook for taxes regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Whether or not you need to pay tax on money transferred from abroad will depend on the source of the funds. To help you out, we've broken these down into when a transfer is a taxable event and when it's not.
If your international money transfer involves any of the following, then chances are you will need to declare it.
There are cases for bringing money into Australia without paying tax. The following large money transfers generally aren't subjected to tax:
Just keep in mind, for the above non-taxable events, you will still need to check any local tax responsibilities in the country the transfer is being sent from.
If you have any confusion over whether your money transfer is taxable, it is best to speak to a tax professional to make sure you comply with Australia's taxation regulations.
If you receive a taxable money transfer and choose not to pay the tax, then you risk fines and other penalties. More serious consequences include criminal convictions and even prison sentences.
Criminal convictions can affect your employment and ability to travel outside the country. So it is important to report any large money transfers on your annual tax returns to the Australian Taxation Office. If you have any doubts, speak to a tax professional for guidance.
There are things you can do to make sure you avoid getting into any legal or tax difficulties. Here are some tips:
If you are looking to send a large amount of money to Australia, you'll typically find specialist international money transfer providers offer lower transaction fees and more competitive exchange rates. You can use our comparison table to compare our hand-picked list of specialists.
However, if you want to explore other ways of transferring a large amount internationally, take a look at our detailed guide which breaks down alternative options.
There is no limit on the amount of money you can bring into Australia. However, if the combined value of cash in the local or foreign currency you are carrying is equivalent to AUD$10,000 or more, it needs to be declared.
There are two types of money you can bring into Australia: physical cash and bearer negotiable instruments (BNIs).
Cash can be declared when you enter Australia at the international airport or seaport. The declaration form only needs to be completed when the total cash value you bring into Australia exceeds AUD$9,999 - not counting BNIs.
These are non-cash forms of money and include cheques, bearer bonds, money orders and promissory notes. Money items without an assigned value or a specified payee (like black cheques) are also considered BNIs. You only need to declare these if it is requested by customs.
You could face penalties if you violate any of the following rules:
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