Can Expats Claim Australian Family Tax Benefit if They Still Have Overseas Income?

Key Takeaways:

  • Family Tax Benefit is financial support to help in raising children.
  • Australian Citizens and permanent residents are eligible.
  • Overseas Expats are not eligible for Family Tax Benefit.
  • Returning Expats to Australia can apply.
  • All overseas income must be declared.
  • Odin Mortgage can help you purchase an Australian home overseas.

Are you one of 1 million Australian Expats living overseas? Do you know your rights and ability to claim financial support overseas, or when you return home to Australia?

Securing the best information from leading experts at Odin Mortgage can make your life so much easier! They will assess your personal situation and find the perfect solution for you.

Do you know your eligibility for Family Tax Benefit, whether you are at home or abroad? What if you have overseas income? Can you still purchase a home in Australia?

Read on to find out everything you need to know about Expats and Family Tax Benefits.

Can Expats Claim Australian Family Tax Benefit if They Still Have Overseas Income

What is Family Tax Benefit?

Family Tax Benefit FTB is a two-part payment from the Australian Government to help families. The payments are given to help with the living costs of raising a child.

Payments are usually made every fortnight, although you can request an annual lump sum. Family Tax Benefit is available in two parts, Part A and Part B. Part A is paid per child, whereas Part B is paid per family unit. 

Who is Eligible for Family Tax Benefit?

To be eligible for Family Tax Benefit, you must meet the following criteria:

Family Tax Benefit Part A

  • Have a dependent child, or a child aged 16 – 19 in full-time education.
  • Live in Australia and have citizenship or permanent residency.
  • Meet the income test criteria.

Family Tax Benefit Part B

  • Meet the criteria for Family Tax Credit Part A.
  • You are a single parent or non-parent carer.
  • You are a couple with one main income and a child under 13 years old.

What is the Payment Rate for Family Tax Benefit?

The payment rate for Family Tax Benefit will depend on your personal circumstances. An assessment is made based on:

  • Your adjusted taxable income
  • Your income test
  • How many children you have
  • The ages of your children

Family Tax Benefit Part A is paid per child, whereas Part B is paid per family.

The base rates for Family Tax Benefit are shown below:

Family Tax Benefit Part A

  • Base rate starts at $61.46 per child per fortnight
  • Maximum Part A rates can reach:
  • $191.24 for a child aged 12 and under
  • $248.78 for a child aged 13 – 15
  • $248.78 for a child aged 16 – 19 in FT education

Family Tax Benefit Part B

  • Maximum rate per fortnight is $162.54 (youngest child is 0 – 5 years old).
  • Maximum rate per fortnight is $113.54 (youngest child is aged 5 – 18 years old).

In addition, there are supplement rates paid yearly for both Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B. 

Find out more about Family Tax Benefit from Services Australia.

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Can Expats Claim Family Tax Benefit?

An Australian Expat cannot claim Family Tax Benefit. As soon as you leave the country, Family Tax Benefit payments will stop.

Family Tax Benefit payments will remain unchanged if you or your child intend to be back home in Australia within 6 weeks. A return overseas within a further 6 weeks since returning to Australia will cause payments to stop, however.

Exceptions include individuals employed overseas by the Australian Defence Force, or Australian Federal Police. You can live overseas for up to 3 years and still claim Family Tax Benefit if you are eligible.

What is an Expat?

An Australian Expat is an Australian citizen, or a permanent resident, who lives overseas. An Australian citizen includes anyone born after 1986 to an Australian parent.

A permanent resident is an individual who has held permanent residency in Australia for four years.

Migrant workers and those on overseas assignments are also part of Australia’s Expat community, regardless of the foreign country lived in.

Can Expats Claim Australian Family Tax Benefit if They Still Have Overseas Income

Can I Claim Family Tax Benefit With a Temporary Visa?

Generally, you cannot claim Family Tax Benefit if you hold a temporary Visa. This is applicable to both Part A and Part B Family Tax Benefits.

However, if you have been granted one of the following Visas, you could still receive 6 weeks of FTC payments. You will have to provide an approved reason, however, such as seeking overseas medical treatment.

Temporary Visa


Partner Provisional Visa 

  • Subclass 309
  • Subclass 820

Safe Haven Enterprise Visa

  • Subclass 790

Temporary Protection Visa

  • Subclass 785 (issued on/after 16/12/2014)

You must inform the correct authorities about your travel arrangements, as well as changes in circumstances. Contact Odin Mortgage for further advice, or log in to your myGov account.

Can Foreigners Claim Australian Family Tax Benefits?

Foreigners cannot claim Family Tax Benefit in Australia as claimants must be Australian Citizens or permanent residents. This is part of the stringent eligibility criteria.

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Apply online to get a free recommendation with real rates and repayments.

Can Returning Australian Expats Claim Family Tax Benefits?

Yes, returning Australian Expats CAN claim Family Tax Benefits providing you are an Australian Citizen or permanent resident. You can begin your claim as soon as you arrive home in Australia from your host country!

However, if you are still receiving overseas income, you must declare all funds correctly. Expatriate employees may still receive some overseas money and should declare this.

What is Overseas Income?

Overseas income includes any money received from outside of Australia.

As an Expat, you will have successfully forged a life for yourself in a foreign country. You may have worked to develop an impressive career during your time overseas, including securing investments. This activity must be recorded when claiming for Family Tax Benefit.

Overseas income includes:

  • Employment income from foreign sources
  • Pensions from abroad
  • Foreign investments 
  • Income from overseas interests
  • Regular monetary gifts from overseas relatives
Can Expats Claim Australian Family Tax Benefit if They Still Have Overseas Income

How Should I Declare Overseas Income?

Include expected overseas income on your application for Family Tax Benefit, as a returning Expat to Australia. You must adhere to the Australian financial year from July 1st to the following 30th June.

Estimate your total overseas income across this period, trying to be as accurate as possible. You should then convert the total overseas income into Australian dollars. Ensure to check the latest exchange rates used for your Family Tax Benefit when making your claim.

You may pay Australian tax on this income from overseas. If so, declare your overseas income as taxable income. If you do not pay Australian tax on overseas income, you must declare this money as foreign income.

Most Expats earn more living abroad than local employees in their home country. This is one great advantage of living in their new country on a work assignment! However, all residue income must be declared on your tax return when you return from international posts.

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Apply online to get a free recommendation with real rates and repayments.

Can You Buy a House on Family Tax Benefit?

Yes, you CAN buy a house if you are claiming Family Tax Benefit! There are some lenders who will not consider Family Tax Benefit as part of your earned income, however. 

Seeking professional broker advice from Odin Mortgage will ensure that the best lenders are found. Contact your broker today to discover your perfect home purchase for Expats.

Can Expats Claim Australian Family Tax Benefit if They Still Have Overseas Income?

What Lending Requirements Will I Have to Meet?

Standard lending requirements will be required as a basis for your home loan application. You will be assessed on your income and your credit history. Your ability to pay back the home loan will also be assessed.

Centrelink Statement

When claiming Family Tax Benefit, you will need to evidence a recent Centrelink statement, downloadable from your DHS portal. 

It is important that you submit this, or the Family Tax Benefit payments will not be included in your application. You may be deemed to earn an insufficient income for your home loan application without Family Tax Benefit payments included.

Your Children’s Ages

Lenders may also assess your application on the ages of your child or children. A lender may not include all of your Family Tax Benefit payments in your application if your children are older. 

This is because the lender will determine that your Family Tax Benefits will stop in a few years. They may worry that you will not be able to pay the loan repayments without this financial support.

It is therefore advisable to apply for a home loan with Family Tax Benefit when your children are young. You will increase your chances of lender acceptance, and enable 100% of the Family Tax Benefit payments to be included.

Here is a list of requirements that a lender will assess when you make a home loan application with Family Tax Benefit:


Standard Lending Requirements


  • Income assessed
  • Credit history checked
  • Asset position
  • Ability to pay back the loan

Family Tax Benefit Evidence


  • Centrelink statement (this must be a recent statement, downloaded with no pages missing).

Additional Considerations


  • Your children’s ages will be considered.
  • The older your children, the fewer lenders may be available.
  • A lender may reduce the amount of FTB considered if your children are older.
Can Expats Claim Australian Family Tax Benefit if They Still Have Overseas Income

How Much Can I Borrow When Claiming Family Tax Benefit?

How much you can borrow will depend on your personal circumstances. You are not limited to a threshold because you claim Family Tax Benefit. 

A lender will assess your total income, including your Family Tax Benefits payments. This total amount will contribute to the amount you can borrow for your home loan. 

You can find out how much you can borrow by following these simple steps:

  1. Calculate your annual income.
  2. Find out your Family Tax Benefit payments across the year.
  3. Add any additional income.
  4. Total all income streams.
  5. Enter this income into Odin Mortgage’s Borrowing Power Calculator.
  6. Input any other information required.
  7. Discover how much you may be able to borrow and your monthly repayments.

What Interest Rates Are Available?

The interest rates available will depend on your circumstances. If your Family Tax Benefit is an additional income stream to regular earnings, standard home loan rates may apply. 

This means that you are at no disadvantage in contrast to any other home loan. Providing you have a good credit score and credit history, you may be able to secure a favourable interest rate. 

However, if Family Tax Benefit is the sole income on your application, you may have to find a home loan with specialised rates. This is due to the additional risk that a lender may perceive in their assessment.

Buying Land to Build a House as an Expat Everything You Need to Know

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Apply online to get a free recommendation with real rates and repayments.

Can I Include Any Other Benefits in My Home Loan Application?

Yes, include every source of income in your home loan application! An expert broker will be able to help you decipher all relevant income sources, to boost your home loan application!

Child Support and Maintenance

In addition to Family Tax Benefits, do you receive child support or child maintenance payments? Your lender may consider child support and maintenance payments as part of your home loan application.

Be clear in the application process whether the child support payments are through the Child Support Agency, however. They may ask how long your regular payments have occurred.

Additional evidence you may need to provide includes:

  • A Child Support Agency letter
  • Solicitor’s letter
  • Family Law Court Order copy
  • Bank statement evidencing account credits

Pensions

Do you receive a pension? Some lenders may accept money received from a pension as part of your home loan application income.

A lender will want to know that your pension is ongoing and will not abruptly end. Therefore, some pensions are more favourable than others. Veteran pensions and War Widow pensions are commonly accepted pension varieties.

You will need to show the following proof to include your pension in your home loan application:

  • Department of Veteran Affairs statement
  • Bank statement evidencing amounts received

Some benefits from Centrelink are not accepted as part of a home loan application, however. The following Centrelink benefits are not accepted by lenders during a home loan application:

  • Foster Care Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Disability Support Pension

Visit an expert lender at Odin Mortgage for the latest advice on which benefits you can include when making a home loan application.

Can Expats Claim Australian Family Tax Benefit if They Still Have Overseas Income

Is It Difficult to Buy a Property as a Returning Expat?

Odin Mortgage ensures it is easy to buy a property for returning Expats! Discuss your financial situation now with a reputable professional!

When you return to Australia after many years of living overseas, you may want to settle quickly and purchase a property. We can help you to complete the process simply, including any overseas income and any new Family Tax Benefit claims.

You may think you have to live back in Australia for a set period before being able to buy a property. Not when you are an Australian Citizen or permanent resident! 

Declare all earnings and assets, whether home or abroad, and we can find the best home loan for you. This includes any Family Tax Benefit claims made as well as other qualifying Centrelink benefits.

Can I Purchase a Property in Australia Whilst Living Overseas?

Yes, provided you are an Australian Citizen or permanent resident, you can purchase a property even when living overseas! 

Perhaps you want to capitalize on the Australian property market to attain capital growth on your return to Australia? Do you want to ensure you have a permanent base in your home state or territory? 

Odin Mortgage are Expat experts! We know the rules and regulations surrounding Expats, taxes, and money. When using our services, we will take care of the process from start to finish.

Available every day of the week, your time zone will not affect attaining the best advice and broker service! We can also help Expats refinance at a lower rate.

Seek Professional Advice

If you are currently an Expat abroad, or you have returned home to Australia recently, visit Odin Mortgage for the latest advice! We can help you retrieve finance for a property, whatever your circumstances. Visit Odin Mortgage’s FAQs today for the latest home buying advice for Expats!

Can Expats Claim Australian Family Tax Benefit if They Still Have Overseas Income

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply for Family Tax Benefit as an Expat overseas?

No, you cannot receive Family Tax Benefit if you are an Expat overseas. If you leave Australia for over 6 weeks, your Family Tax Benefits will stop.

There are exceptions to this, for example, if you are a member of the Australian Defence Force, or Australian Federal Police. You can still claim Family Tax Benefit for up to 3 years whilst on international assignments.

Why do Expats live overseas?

There are many different reasons why an Australian Citizen or permanent resident may live overseas. Expatriates may wish to see the world, experience a different language, or allow their child to attend a certain school.

Alternatively, many Expats will be offered a new role with a company on foreign assignments. Such people may live in that country for an extended period and enjoy the overseas experience.

Can I buy a property in Australia if I live overseas?

Yes, Odin Mortgage can help you effortlessly purchase a property, wherever you are in the world! We will help you find the best home loan for your situation and advise you about the latest trends in the local housing market. 

Discover everything you need to know as an Expat first home buyer with Odin Mortgage! Simply contact your broker today! 

Visit Odin Mortgage to discover exactly what an Expat mortgage broker can do for you!

How long will my mortgage last?

A home loan can offer repayment terms of up to 30 years. You may be able to get a lower repayment term, such as 10 years, however. 

A longer home loan repayment term will ensure that the monthly repayments are low. Although, many Expats love experiencing different countries and enjoy being on the move! 

Therefore, Expats may benefit from shorter home loan repayment terms to experience the freedom to move.

Compare the latest Q4 2021 mortgage rates today and compare CBA, ANZ, NAB, and Westpac rates.

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