05/05/2015 – As part of the upcoming Federal Budget it has been announced by the Education Minister Christopher Pyne that from 2017 Aussie expats will be legally obligated to repay their HECS and HELP debts.
As part of the new legislation the Australian government will target those Australians living overseas for longer than six months and who have earned more than $53,000 a year. In announcing the changes the Minister said that the change will make the system fairer and that the government expected to raise over $140 million in a 10 year period.
Under the current system overseas debtors are able to make voluntary HECS repayments to the ATO but are not under any legal obligation to do so. The details on how they expect to enforce this new legislation will be out on budget night and we will provide further commentary once it has been released.