Are you an Aussie expat planning on returning to Australia? Or perhaps you’re a foreign national who is looking to relocate there for a senior working role. Either way, one of the challenges you’ll face is finding yourself in a comparatively high tax environment in Australia that applies its income and capital gains taxes on a worldwide basis. Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate the pain. We find out more from NICHOLAS BOYD, Chief Executive Officer of Northland Group which specialises in international pension fund (foreign superannuation fund) administration in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.
When did Northland Group form, and where are you based?
Northland Group was originally formed over 30 years ago as part of a larger tax and accounting organisation. Through the years, it has transitioned into a standalone funds administration business that specialises in establishing and administering foreign superannuation funds. We’re now the preferred provider for several of the private banks throughout the Asia Pacific region and administer over US$1.7 billion worth of funds.
In a nutshell, what kind of services do you provide?
We specialise in the establishment and administration of compliant international pension fund solutions. Our solution has received ATO rulings, is licensed under the Australian Securities Investment Commission and is completely open architecture – this means that any private bank or investment advisor can manage the investments held in the structure.
What are some tax-related financial challenges that Australians living in Hong Kong face when they decide to move home?
The main one is the change from a low-tax jurisdiction in Hong Kong to a high-tax jurisdiction in Australia. This can impact not only their investment gains but also their employment income.
How can Northland help to overcome these challenges?
Retirement planning via the use of a qualifying international pension (foreign superannuation fund) can provide some great advantages for an Australian moving back to Australia. One of these is superior wealth protection and estate and tax-planning benefits compared to alternative structures such as an insurance policy or regular foreign trust.
Northland proudly provides a fully compliant International Pension Fund solution that is uniquely licensed under the Australian Securities Investment Commission.
What about non-Australians who live in HK and who are thinking of moving to Australia for work – can you assist them too?
Yes, we can; the same planning is mostly available via Northland Group for anyone moving to Australia. What ongoing help can you provide once a person has settled back in Australia? Once they’ve settled in, Northland offers ongoing administration, reporting and client service for the life of the structure we implement.
This article first appeared in the Winter 2022/23 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.