Commuters Beware

Taxpayer Australian Resident for Tax Purposes – Bezuidenhout

A taxpayer who was employed overseas, as a pilot, by a foreign employer, has nevertheless been found to have been an Australian resident during the relevant income years. He was therefore assessable in Australia on his foreign-earned income. The taxpayer worked overseas as a pilot. He was away from Australia for work purposes for extended periods in the years of income in question. Evidence suggested the taxpayer spent the majority of days in each year in Australia. On the other hand, the taxpayer had migrated to Australia in 2005 with his family. He arrived here on a business migration permanent resident visa. He has a sister who resides here and his wife and children resided here full-time throughout the years of income. He retained private health cover in this country and opened Australian bank accounts and held an Australian driver’s licence. He had an investment property here. He does not hold any assets elsewhere apart from a bank account in Jersey. The bulk of his remuneration from overseas employment was remitted to Australia to maintain his family. On this evidence, the AAT readily found that the taxpayer was an Australian resident at the relevant times. The AAT also affirmed the Commissioner’s objection decision in relation to penalties. Re Bezuidenhout and FCT [2012] AATA 799 (Senior Member Bernard J McCabe, 15 November 2012).

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