In a recent case, the AAT confirmed that a taxpayer was a resident of Australia for taxation purposes while he was living in Oman.

The taxpayer has left Australia in January 2008 to work in Oman, and he ended up working 21 months in Oman before returning to Australia permanently in September 2009.

Before leaving Australia, the taxpayer sold an investment property in Queensland, cancelled his Medicare card, cancelled his Australian private health insurance, and his name removed from the electoral roll.

When he left Australia in January 2008, he completed an outgoing passenger card indicating that he was permanently departing Australia.

However, the ATO was of the view that the taxpayer remained a resident of Australia. In particular, his wife remained in Australia at a jointly-owned dwelling in Mt Martha, he had returned to Australia for three holidays where he stayed at the Mt Martha home with his wife, he maintained an Australian bank account, and sent money to Australia to help pay his wife’s living expenses and assist with repaying the mortgage on the home.

The AAT concluded the taxpayer had not severed his connections with Australia and had not established enduring and lasting ties in Oman (and so was still resident of, and his income was taxable in, Australia).