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Moving Australian Shares When You Relocate Abroad: Best 2023 Guide

Moving Australian Shares, When you decide to move abroad, managing your Australian shares becomes a critical task. The complexities of international finance, tax laws, and investment strategies intertwine, presenting unique challenges and opportunities.

It’s vital to understand these complexities to ensure your investments continue to work effectively for you, even when you’re miles away from home. This guide dives into the essential aspects of moving Australian shares when relocating abroad.

If you want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what i specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

Tax Responsibilities for Australian Shares Abroad

Capital Gains Tax Considerations

When moving Australian shares abroad, one of the foremost considerations is the capital gains tax (CGT).

If you sell assets, including shares, while living overseas, you may still be liable for CGT in Australia. This tax is levied on the profit made from selling an asset, like shares.

For Australian residents, a 50% CGT discount on capital gains is available, but expats do not get this benefit, leading to a significant financial impact.

Furthermore, if you’re a non-resident for tax purposes, you won’t be taxed in Australia on capital gains from Australian-sourced income, except in relation to certain assets, such as ‘taxable Australian property’.

This exclusion emphasizes the importance of understanding your residency status and its impact on your tax obligations.

Double Taxation Agreements

Double taxation agreements (DTAs) play a crucial role in determining how your investments in Australian shares are taxed when living abroad.

These agreements, made between Australia and other countries, aim to prevent double taxation and fiscal evasion.

DTAs can influence which country has the taxing rights over your income and may provide relief through credits for the tax paid in one country against the tax owed in another.

Familiarizing yourself with the DTA between Australia and your new country of residence is essential to optimize your tax obligations.

moving Australian shares
Look for advisors who have experience with international taxation and are familiar with the tax laws of both Australia and your new country of residence.

Reporting Requirements in Your New Country

Foreign Investment Laws

Upon relocating, you’ll need to comply with the investment and reporting laws of your new country. These laws vary significantly from country to country and can influence how you manage your Australian shares.

Some countries have restrictions on foreign investments or specific reporting requirements for international assets, impacting your ability to hold and trade Australian shares.

Disclosure Obligations

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requires entities involved in the transfer of shares or units to report specific details.

If you’re a market participant, a listed entity, or a trustee of a unit trust, you must report corporate actions, client identity information, and trade transactional information. Managed funds need to report both identity and transactional information.

However, certain transfers, such as those for non-individual wholesale clients or relating to unlisted companies, do not require reporting.

Understanding and complying with these reporting obligations is crucial to avoid penalties and ensure legal compliance while managing your Australian shares from abroad.

Adjusting Your Portfolio for International Relocation

When moving Australian shares abroad, it’s crucial to reassess and diversify your investment portfolio.

Diversification, a key to reducing risk, involves spreading investments across various asset classes and geographic locations.

This approach becomes even more important when relocating internationally, as it helps manage risks associated with market volatility in different regions.

For Australian investors, the home market represents a limited portion of global opportunities. Australian shares account for less than 2% of the global equity market, meaning a significant 98% of opportunities lie outside Australia.

Diversifying into international markets can expose you to a broader range of sectors and companies, reducing the reliance on the performance of Australian companies alone.

For instance, the Australian share market is heavily weighted towards materials and financial sectors, which comprise 17.2% and 31.1% of the market respectively, while underrepresenting sectors like information technology.

When moving Australian shares overseas, it’s important to assess your risk tolerance and investment horizon. If you’re a growth-oriented investor, allocating a higher percentage of your portfolio to international shares may be appropriate.

Major Australian super funds, such as Australian Super, allocate between 10% to 45% of their portfolios to international shares, demonstrating the importance of global exposure.

moving Australian shares
Tax harvesting is a strategy where investors sell securities at a loss to offset a capital gains tax liability.

Currency Exchange Impact

Moving Australian shares abroad also necessitates a keen understanding of currency exchange impacts. Exchange rates can significantly affect the value of your investments, especially when converting investment returns into your home currency.

For instance, if the Australian dollar appreciates against the currency of your international investments, the value of these returns in AUD terms may decrease.

To manage this risk, investors can consider currency-hedged investment products. These products aim to neutralize the impact of currency fluctuations on investment returns.

For example, Australian investors can invest in currency-hedged versions of international index tracking exchange-traded funds (ETFs) like IHVV (iShares’ currency hedged version of IVV) and VGAD (the currency hedged version of VGS).

Long-term vs. Short-term Investment Strategies When Moving Australian Shares

Timing Your Sell Decisions

The decision to sell Australian shares when moving abroad should align with your long-term financial goals.

For long-term investors, it may be wise to hold onto well-performing shares, as they can continue to contribute to portfolio growth even when living abroad.

However, if certain shares no longer align with your revised investment strategy post-relocation, selling might be a prudent decision. This step should be carefully timed to optimize tax implications and market conditions.

Considering Local Markets

When relocating, you should also consider investing in the local markets of your new country. This strategy can provide exposure to different economic cycles and sectors not prominently represented in the Australian market.

For instance, the U.S. market, which comprises about 55% of the developed equity markets, has outperformed the Australian market over the long term.

Engaging with local markets can offer growth opportunities and help balance the geographic concentration of your investments.

Choosing the Right Broker for International Trading

When moving Australian shares abroad, selecting an appropriate broker is crucial. Key factors in this decision include low trading fees and the range of services offered.

For instance, Interactive Brokers, recognized as a top choice in Australia for 2023, provides low trading fees and a high interest rate on cash balances. eToro offers free stock and ETF trading and seamless account opening, appealing to those looking for cost-effective options.

Saxo Bank and Alpaca Trading are known for their great trading platforms and research tools, while Plus500 is noted for its well-designed platform and responsive customer support.

It’s essential to compare fees, including spreads, commissions, and other trading costs, as these can significantly impact the profitability of your investments.

Each broker has a unique fee structure, which should align with your trading style and frequency.

Understanding International Brokerage Regulations

Understanding the regulatory environment is vital when moving Australian shares internationally. In Australia, brokers are overseen by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

ASIC ensures that only qualified and reputable firms operate in the market, and it mandates brokers to provide clear and accurate information, including disclosing fees, risks, and other relevant details.

This regulatory framework is designed to protect retail traders from scams and excessive losses due to high leverage, especially in high-risk products like Contracts for Difference (CFDs).

moving Australian shares
When you decide to move abroad, managing your Australian shares becomes a critical task.

Tax Responsibilities for Australian Shares Abroad

Capital Gains Tax Considerations

When moving Australian shares abroad, one of the foremost considerations is the capital gains tax (CGT).

If you sell assets, including shares, while living overseas, you may still be liable for CGT in Australia. This tax is levied on the profit made from selling an asset, like shares.

For Australian residents, a 50% CGT discount on capital gains is available, but expats do not get this benefit, leading to a significant financial impact.

Furthermore, if you’re a non-resident for tax purposes, you won’t be taxed in Australia on capital gains from Australian-sourced income, except in relation to certain assets, such as ‘taxable Australian property’.

This exclusion emphasizes the importance of understanding your residency status and its impact on your tax obligations.

Double Taxation Agreements

Double taxation agreements (DTAs) play a crucial role in determining how your investments in Australian shares are taxed when living abroad.

These agreements, made between Australia and other countries, aim to prevent double taxation and fiscal evasion.

DTAs can influence which country has the taxing rights over your income and may provide relief through credits for the tax paid in one country against the tax owed in another.

Familiarizing yourself with the DTA between Australia and your new country of residence is essential to optimize your tax obligations.

Reporting Requirements in Your New Country

Foreign Investment Laws

Upon relocating, you’ll need to comply with the investment and reporting laws of your new country. These laws vary significantly from country to country and can influence how you manage your Australian shares.

Some countries have restrictions on foreign investments or specific reporting requirements for international assets, impacting your ability to hold and trade Australian shares.

Disclosure Obligations

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requires entities involved in the transfer of shares or units to report specific details. If you’re a market participant, a listed entity, or a trustee of a unit trust, you must report corporate actions, client identity information, and trade transactional information.

Managed funds need to report both identity and transactional information. However, certain transfers, such as those for non-individual wholesale clients or relating to unlisted companies, do not require reporting.

Understanding and complying with these reporting obligations is crucial to avoid penalties and ensure legal compliance while managing your Australian shares from abroad.

Adjusting Your Portfolio for International Relocation

When moving Australian shares abroad, it’s crucial to reassess and diversify your investment portfolio. Diversification, a key to reducing risk, involves spreading investments across various asset classes and geographic locations.

This approach becomes even more important when relocating internationally, as it helps manage risks associated with market volatility in different regions.

For Australian investors, the home market represents a limited portion of global opportunities. Australian shares account for less than 2% of the global equity market, meaning a significant 98% of opportunities lie outside Australia.

Diversifying into international markets can expose you to a broader range of sectors and companies, reducing the reliance on the performance of Australian companies alone.

For instance, the Australian share market is heavily weighted towards materials and financial sectors, which comprise 17.2% and 31.1% of the market respectively, while underrepresenting sectors like information technology.

When moving Australian shares overseas, it’s important to assess your risk tolerance and investment horizon.

If you’re a growth-oriented investor, allocating a higher percentage of your portfolio to international shares may be appropriate. Major Australian super funds, such as Australian Super, allocate between 10% to 45% of their portfolios to international shares, demonstrating the importance of global exposure.

Currency Exchange Impact

Moving Australian shares abroad also necessitates a keen understanding of currency exchange impacts. Exchange rates can significantly affect the value of your investments, especially when converting investment returns into your home currency.

For instance, if the Australian dollar appreciates against the currency of your international investments, the value of these returns in AUD terms may decrease.

To manage this risk, investors can consider currency-hedged investment products. These products aim to neutralize the impact of currency fluctuations on investment returns.

For example, Australian investors can invest in currency-hedged versions of international index tracking exchange-traded funds (ETFs) like IHVV (iShares’ currency hedged version of IVV) and VGAD (the currency hedged version of VGS).

The Role of Custodian in Managing Overseas Shares

Security and Access to Shares

A custodian plays a critical role in managing your Australian shares abroad by ensuring the security and accessibility of your investments.

They hold securities on behalf of the investor, providing an additional layer of security against theft or loss. When choosing a custodian, consider their reputation, the level of security they provide, and how easily you can access your shares.

Reporting and Compliance Services

Custodians also offer reporting and compliance services, which are essential for meeting regulatory requirements in different jurisdictions.

They keep track of your investments and ensure that all necessary reporting is done accurately and timely. This service is particularly valuable for investors who hold a diverse portfolio or those who are not familiar with the regulatory environment of the country they have moved to.

moving Australian shares
Online money transfer services offer a convenient and often more cost-effective alternative to traditional banks.

Tax Planning and Efficiency

Utilizing Tax-Advantaged Accounts and Strategies

Retirement Accounts and Pensions

When moving Australian shares abroad, consider transferring them into tax-advantaged accounts, such as retirement accounts or pensions, which may offer tax benefits depending on your new country of residence.

These accounts can help in deferring taxes or reducing taxable income, thus maximizing the efficiency of your investments.

Tax Harvesting Techniques

Tax harvesting is a strategy where investors sell securities at a loss to offset a capital gains tax liability. This technique can be particularly effective when moving Australian shares abroad, as it allows for the strategic realization of losses to minimize tax obligations.

However, it requires careful planning and understanding of both Australian and international tax laws.

Seeking Professional Tax Advice

Finding the Right Tax Advisor

Securing the services of a knowledgeable tax advisor is crucial when moving Australian shares abroad. A good tax advisor can provide guidance on complex tax issues related to international relocation and help you navigate different tax jurisdictions.

Look for advisors who have experience with international taxation and are familiar with the tax laws of both Australia and your new country of residence.

Coordinating with Financial Planners

Collaborating with financial planners can provide a comprehensive approach to managing your investments and tax obligations when moving Australian shares.

They can help in devising strategies that align with your overall financial goals while considering the tax implications of your move.

This coordination ensures that your investment decisions are made with a clear understanding of both your financial objectives and tax responsibilities.

Staying Updated with Australian Market Trends

Moving Australian shares abroad requires staying informed about the Australian market. In 2023, the market faces challenges like inflation, interest rates, recession, and geopolitical upheaval, all impacting investment strategies.

It’s essential to utilize resources like financial news websites, Australian market analysis reports, and investment forums to keep abreast of these changes.

Additionally, attending webinars and subscribing to newsletters from reliable financial analysts can provide deeper insights into market trends.

Investors should be cautious about highly leveraged companies, as rising interest rates mean a larger portion of earnings will be dedicated to servicing debt. Companies capable of self-funding their growth will be more attractive.

There’s a shift towards valuing producers of physical assets over purely digital-first companies. This trend indicates a broader market leadership among various company types, benefiting stock pickers.

Regular Portfolio Review

Regular portfolio reviews are vital when moving Australian shares abroad. The globalization of supply chains is adjusting, with companies focusing on efficiency and resilience.

Fidelity International’s Head of Investments Australia suggests that despite the challenging environment, there are reasons for optimism, like potential interest rate behaviors and China’s market opening.

Commodities-linked businesses and essential businesses with pricing power tend to do well during inflationary periods.

Sectors like essentials, materials, insurance, and financials are likely to perform well in 2023, providing opportunities to invest in high-quality, inexpensive businesses with long-term growth.

Australia is expected to avoid a recession, but the outlook remains uncertain with rapidly rising inflation and international turmoil.

moving Australian shares
When moving Australian shares abroad, it’s crucial to reassess and diversify your investment portfolio.

Annual Declarations and Filings

Moving Australian shares internationally involves understanding the compliance and reporting requirements in Australia.

Financial service companies are experiencing an expansion in reporting and disclosure requirements. This expansion focuses on risk management effectiveness, data and measurement controls, ensuring transparency and consistency across corporate reporting, and timely quality reporting.

Investors must monitor new and evolving regulations that impact reporting and disclosure requirements. These include climate disclosures, cybersecurity incident disclosures, human capital disclosures, and enhanced transparency on qualifying hedge funds and private funds.

Staying Updated with Regulatory Changes

It’s crucial to stay updated with regulatory changes when moving Australian shares. In 2023, regulators are increasing their focus on market structure, fintechs, M&A transactions, fair competition, and consumer/investor protections.

Changes include shorter settlements, improvements in fairness and competition for retail investors, short selling disclosures, and increased standards associated with market impact-related trading controls.

Compliance and reporting requirements are continually evolving, and it’s imperative for investors to stay ahead of these changes to maintain stakeholder trust. This involves not only meeting regulatory requirements but also organically improving processes.

Handling Currency Exchange and Transfer

Hedging Strategies

When moving Australian shares abroad, managing currency risk is a critical component. Hedging strategies can be employed to mitigate the risk associated with currency fluctuations.

This involves using financial instruments like forward contracts, futures, options, or swaps to lock in exchange rates. These tools can protect against unfavorable movements in exchange rates, ensuring the value of your investment remains stable despite currency market volatility.

Understanding Currency Fluctuations

Understanding currency fluctuations is essential when moving Australian shares. Currency values fluctuate based on various factors, including interest rates, economic data, political events, and market sentiment.

Staying informed about these factors can help predict currency movements and make informed decisions about when to transfer funds or invest in foreign markets. Utilizing currency conversion tools and consulting with a currency specialist can provide insights into managing these risks effectively.

Efficient Money Transfer Methods

Banking and Financial Institutions

Using banking and financial institutions is a traditional and secure method for transferring funds when moving Australian shares abroad.

Banks offer various services, including international wire transfers and currency exchange. While this method is reliable, it’s important to compare the fees and exchange rates offered by different banks to ensure cost-effectiveness.

Online Money Transfer Services

Online money transfer services offer a convenient and often more cost-effective alternative to traditional banks.

These platforms allow for quick and easy international transfers with competitive exchange rates and lower fees.

It’s important to research and choose a reputable service that offers security, favorable rates, and customer support to assist with any transaction-related queries or issues.

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 744.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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