Income from outside Australia

Income from outside Australia may be used when we work out your payment rates.

It includes all income you have received from another country or from a source outside Australia.

Your assessable income from outside Australia, also known as foreign income, may include:

  • investment income
  • pensions
  • employment income
  • self employment income, and
  • real estate income

We use the gross amount, before any deductions, of your overseas income in the income test, regardless of whether the payments were made from overseas or through an Australian agent. You can’t deduct any bank charges, tax paid or exchange rate conversion fees.

We convert all overseas income to Australian dollars for the income test. The exchange rate used to convert your non-Australian income and assets into Australian dollars is updated on the first business day of each month for income support payments.

We assess income from outside Australia differently for family assistance payments. Read more about foreign income for family assistance purposes.

Overseas pensions

We generally treat overseas pensions as income. There are exceptions, including some restitution payments and blocked overseas pensions that are exempt income. Overseas pensions may also be exempt under an International Social Security Agreement.

If your partner dies

We won't consider the following as assessable income for 14 weeks following the death of your partner:

  • if you're granted a survivor's or widow's pension, or
  • if you receive an increase in your own payment

Savings accounts, managed investments and shares held outside Australia

Overseas savings accounts, managed investments and shares may produce investment income. However, we treat them as financial investments and they are therefore subject to deeming.

Business or real estate income from outside Australia

Income from business or real estate may be reduced by allowable deductions when we calculate your payment rate. Generally, expenses allowed as a deduction against gross business income are those necessarily incurred in earning the income. Expenses allowed as a deduction against gross rental income are those that relate to the property.

Read more about income from sole trader or partnership businesses or real estate income and how it affects your payment rate.

Page last updated: 22 July 2016