P’s Story

I am here in Australia on a Temporary DEFACTO Partnership Visa while I wait on a PR Visa. I am a retired teacher on a US State Teacher Retirement pension that is drafted to a US checking account. I pay USA Federal Income Tax on my US State teacher pension. I also have investments in the market in the USA of which I pay USA Federal Income taxes and US State taxes on capital gains and distributions. I have no Australian income as I am retired and 65 years old. As a temporary resident of Australia, I am being taxed 34% by the Australian Government on the same exact USA income. I am now required to pay quarterly taxes to Australia for my US State teacher pension! I have no issue with paying the Australian Medicare Levy, but I cannot afford to pay double taxes on the same income even though I am given credit in Australia for the taxes I pay in America. Australian tax rates at 34% are 24% higher than my USA tax bracket and rate! My partner sponsors me and pays all of our living expenses in Australia as my teacher retirement income pays for the expenses of my home in the US that Australia Immigration is requiring me to keep as an asset for immigration purposes. My Australian partner was born congenitally blind and is now experiencing progressive hearing loss. He is employed as a Policy and Advocacy Officer for Blind Citizens Australia in Melbourne. I am sighted and act as his assistant for various work matters on a volunteer basis. I also do volunteer work for Blind Citizens Australia in the office in Melbourne. If I am granted PR in Australia, the current tax problem may require me to return to the USA causing my partner to have to live alone in Australia, which is virtually impossible with his dual disability and possibly leave his employment as a tax paying citizen of Australia. My point is that if I am earning income in Australia, I should pay Australian taxes on Australian earned income. Currently, I am paying Australian Taxes on USA earned USA taxed retirement pension. That is not fair. Fix the tax treaty and/ or raise the tax threshold for the average person who is caught in the gap!


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