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HELP and TSL overseas obligations

The Australian Government has introduced changes relating to Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) and Trade Support Loan (TSL) obligations.

Under these changes, your first repayment against your HELP – formerly known as Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS), and your TSL will commence from 1 July 2017. It will be based on your worldwide income for the 2016–17 Australian income year (that is, from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017). In addition, you will be required to submit an overseas travel notification if you meet certain criteria.

Similarly to if you were living and working in Australia, if you live and work overseas and earn worldwide income that exceeds the minimum HELP and TSL repayment thresholds, you will be required to make repayments against your loan.

The two main changes the Australian Government has introduced means you must:

  • update your contact details and submit an overseas travel notification if you have an intention to, or already reside overseas, for 183 days or more in any 12 months
  • lodge your worldwide income or a non-lodgment advice.

These changes apply to new and existing HELP and TSL debts.

You can lodge online through ATO online services or through an Australian registered tax agent.


Griffin & Associates

79 Denham St, Townsville City QLD 4810

Phone 07 4772 6588

Chartered Accountants