Students cannot avoid their HECS/HELP Debts by simply moving overseas!
A common misconception is that you can avoid your HECS/HELP debt by leaving the country and moving overseas. Unfortunately, this is no longer true! Why you might ask? The ATO require you to repay your loan if you are living overseas for more than 6 months and meet the HELP repayment threshold of $54,126. As a result, anyone earning over the named threshold in a foreign country will be liable for HECS/HELP debt repayments.
“How would they know if I have left the country and am working overseas?”
Do not forget that the ATO is a federal government agency! And with the constant advancements in this technological age, the ATO has access to a range of different information. Any individual living and working overseas has an obligation to notify the ATO (You must notify the ATO using your MyGov account). Furthermore, at the end of financial year the ATO must receive a breakdown of your overseas income. This will determine if you hare liable to make repayments to the HECS/HELP debt. So what if you choose to avoid disclosing this information to the ATO? Upon re-entering the country you can face penalties of up to $3,600.
Please note: you cannot claim ignorance as a defense! Offenders will be liable for the penalties charged and will still be required to make the necessary loan repayments as a consequence. This can be avoided by following the ATO’s instructions and completing the necessary obligations. For more information click here Maybe you need assistance with your HECS/HELP debt or require more information on this topics? If so, click here to contact us!