Why would you want an Australian bank account?
I’m about to start offering services to Australian clients and, rather than accepting credit card payments, I decided to set up an Australian bank account for the following reasons:
- Provides Australian clients with the convenience of paying their invoices in Australian dollars into an Australian bank account
- Increases my credibility and demonstrates that I’m serious about serving my Australian clients well and have made an effort to make things easier for them
- The Aussie dollars is so strong right now it makes sense to charge in Aussie dollars rather than converting from NZ to AU
How to set up an Australian Bank Account from New Zealand without visiting an Australian branch
- Choose The Commonwealth Bank of Australia
- If you read the details on the major Australian bank websites you will be told you have to turn up in person in Australia to complete the set up process. Commonwealth Bank offers a way around this because they own NZ’s ASB Bank
- Go to the section about “Moving to Australia” on the Commonwealth Bank website
- Read some of the guff, and when you are ready, click the button “Open an Account”
- A customer service representative will contact you within the next 24-48 hours
- If you are lucky you’ll get Mehnaaz [pronounce: “Men-arrzz”] Basha. She is awesome!
- Tell him/her that you won’t be able to get to Australia for 6 to 12 months but need to start making transactions well before you arrive
- They should then tell you that under special circumstances like that, you are able to submit your proof of identity to an ASB bank branch in person
- You’ll get emailed a bunch of forms for you to fill out
- Fill them in and present your passport as ID to an ASB bank teller (you don’t need an appointment but to save waiting, that might be a good idea)
- The ASB bank teller will sign off your ID
- Ask them to scan all the documents and email them directly to your contact person at The Commonwealth Bank
- This is essential. These documents need to come from an ASB bank teller’s email address as further proof of your identity
- Within 24-48 hours you’ll get confirmation that the documents have been received at The Commonwealth Bank will talk you through the types of accounts you have to choose from
- After that, the internet banking department “NetBank” will then call you to set up internet banking for you
Make your first deposit straight away
- You need to make a deposit into your new Australian bank account within 21 days to keep it open. NZ$160 will do the job (= AU$100)
- You should be able to use Internet Banking from your NZ account to make this payment
- You will probably have three choices:
- Telegraphic transfers (an electronic transaction)
- Direct credits (an electronic transaction)
- Bank drafts (a physical cheque mailed to the recipient)
- A Direct Credit is probably the best choice. It’s a bit cheaper (about $20) but doesn’t let you write a message in the particulars field of the transfer
- You might also be charged a fee for receiving the deposit
It costs AU$20 to send the money back to NZ
- So you’ll want to do this is large lump sums to make it economical
Risk of double taxation?
If you are earning Australian dollars into a bank account would the AU government like some income tax from you? I’m sure they would.
And when you transfer those Australian dollars into your NZ bank account would the NZ government like some income tax from you? I’m sure they would.
That’s exactly what “Double Taxation” is. And if AU wants 30% and NZ wants 30% that doesn’t leave you with much does it.
But don’t worry, Australia has a Double Taxation Agreement with New Zealand, so you’ll only be taxed in NZ. Do we have extra paperwork to fill in to make sure this happens? Probably, but I don’t know yet, but I’ll keep you informed.