Australia-Japan Double Tax Treaty

The Australia-Japan Double Tax Treaty is a bilateral accord between Australia and Japan. It aims to prevent the duplication of taxes on income and promote economic collaboration between the two nations.

The Australia-Japan Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) sets forth guidelines for the allocation of tax jurisdiction between Australia and Japan, guaranteeing that individuals and businesses do not face double taxation on their earnings in both countries. Additionally, it incorporates measures to counteract tax evasion and avoidance.

When did the Japan Australia Tax Treaty Come into Force?

The Japan-Australia tax treaty entered into force in January 2008. The main purposes outlined in the treaty are:

  • Prevent taxes from obstructing trade and economic exchange between Japan and Australia.
  • Provide tax rules and limits for Japanese or Australian residents and companies receiving income in the other country.

Scope of the Australia-Japan DTA Treaty

The Australia-Japan Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) covers a wide range of areas pertaining to taxation between Australia and Japan. It is essential to note that the treaty undergoes revisions and updates periodically. Therefore, for accurate and detailed information, it is recommended to refer to the latest version of the agreement or consult with a qualified tax professional. However, in a general sense, the DTA addresses the following key aspects:

  • Residency: The DTA defines rules to determine tax residency status for individuals and entities.
  • Business Profits: The agreement prevents double taxation on business profits earned through permanent establishments in either country.
  • Dividends, Interest, and Royalties: It addresses the taxation of these types of income to avoid double taxation.
  • Capital Gains: The DTA establishes rules for the taxation of capital gains, considering factors such as asset location and taxpayer residency.
  • Employment Income: It covers the taxation of income earned from employment in either country to prevent double taxation.
  • Elimination of Double Taxation: The agreement includes measures to avoid or reduce double taxation through tax credits or exemptions.
  • Exchange of Information and Dispute Resolution: It facilitates the exchange of tax-related information between authorities and provides mechanisms to resolve disputes.

Australia-Japan Double Tax Treaty: Residency Test

For individuals with roots in both Australia and Japan, tax season can be like juggling two calendars at once. The residency test within the Australia-Japan Double Tax Treaty (DTA) steps in as your tax compass, guiding you to the right tax home and avoiding double taxation. 

  • Australia: An individual is considered a resident of Australia if they are domiciled in Australia or if they satisfy the “resides test” by having a permanent home in Australia.
  • Japan: An individual is considered a resident of Japan if they meet any of the following criteria:
    • They have a domicile in Japan, or
    • They have a residence in Japan for a period of 183 days or more in a calendar year, or
    • Their center of vital interests (such as personal and economic ties) is in Japan, or
    • They are a national of Japan.

Taxation of Resident Income under the Australia-Japan Double Taxation Agreement (DTA)

Under the Australia-Japan Double Taxation Agreement (DTA), the taxation of resident income is generally determined based on the following principles:


For individuals who are tax residents of Japan, their worldwide income is subject to tax in Japan. This includes income from employment, business profits, rental income, capital gains, and other sources. Japan also follows a progressive tax system, with tax rates increasing as income levels rise.


For individuals who are tax residents of Australia, their worldwide income is also subject to tax in Australia. This includes income derived from employment, business activities, investments, capital gains, and other sources. Australia utilizes a progressive tax system with different tax brackets and rates applied based on income levels.

In both countries, tax residents are generally required to report and pay taxes on their global income, taking into account any applicable deductions, exemptions, and credits provided by their respective domestic tax laws and the provisions of the Australia-Japan DTA.

Australia-Japan Double Tax Treaty

Overview of Australia-Japan Free Trade Agreement

The Australia-Japan Free Trade Agreement is a bilateral agreement that came into force in January 2015. It aims to promote trade and investment between Australia and Japan by eliminating tariffs, expanding market access, and setting rules on services, investment, and other areas.

Tariff Elimination

A key aspect is the progressive elimination of tariffs on most goods traded between the two countries. 97% of existing Australian exports to Japan became duty-free immediately in 2015, including major exports like beef, dairy, wine, fruit, and more. Over 90% of Japanese goods exported to Australia also became duty-free upon entry into force.

Market Access

The agreement contains provisions to improve access to each other’s services markets in sectors like financial services, tourism, education, telecoms, and more. It also aims to reduce non-tariff barriers to goods trade through updated rules and regulations.

Dispute Settlement and Other Provisions

An Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism allows mediation of disputes between investors from Australia and Japan. Other areas covered include intellectual property rights, competition policies, customs procedures, and government procurement rules.

Trade Impact

Since coming into effect, the Australia-Japan FTA has been instrumental in growing two-way trade. Australian agriculture and mining exports have benefitted in particular from improved access to Japan. Japanese automotive and machinery exports have also grown into Australia.

Odin Tax: Lodge Your Tax Returns

It’s important to note that specific provisions and details regarding the taxation of resident income may vary within the Australia-Japan DTA. To obtain accurate and up-to-date information, it is advisable to refer to the official treaty text or consult with our tax advisors who specialises in international taxation and is familiar with the Australia-Japan DTA.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Japan and Australia have a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) in place. The agreement helps prevent double taxation of income between the two countries and provides guidelines for the allocation of taxing rights.

The Japan-Australia Tax Treaty is a formal agreement between the two countries to avoid double taxation on income derived from international business activities. It aims to prevent residents of one country from being taxed twice on the same income earned in the other country. 

The treaty covers various types of income, including:

  • Business profits
  • Royalties
  • Dividends
  • Interest
  • Pensions
  • Other income

To avoid double taxation in Australia, there are several methods you can employ:

  • Utilize tax credits: If you are taxed on the same income in multiple countries, you may be eligible to claim a foreign tax credit in Australia for the tax paid in the other country.
  • Seek exemptions or deductions: Look for specific exemptions or deductions available under tax treaties or domestic tax laws to reduce or eliminate double taxation.

Australia-Japan Free Trade Agreement is a separate agreement between Australia and Japan that aims to liberalise trade and investment between the two countries. It covers a wide range of areas, including:

  • Goods and services
  • Investment
  • Government procurement
  • Intellectual property
  • Competition policy
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