Australia does have strong international tax rules that require anyone living in Australia to declare and pay tax on their worldwide income and capital gains.
Unlike places like the United Kingdom, where a lot of the tax Domicile rules are centred on where you are a citizen, the Australian tax rules have a more practical approach.
For Australian Tax purposes, we have a Resident and Non Resident Status that centres around the physicality of your person in determining the tax treatment.
A Resident is simply someone that “ordinarily resides” in Australia and requires you to be living on a permanent basis in Australia.
When you are granted a Permanent Residence Visa, this does not trigger off any taxation consequences at all, so the mere task of visiting Australia to complete formalities will not mean that you begin paying Australian taxation provided it is just a temporary stay for that purpose or a short holiday.
Only if you decided to physically move your family and belongings permanently to Australia, would you then start to become a resident taxpayer. This would be evidenced by packing your belongings and shipping them down, relocating the kids schooling, obtaining a job and moving out of your home in the United Kingdom.
All of these acts are a clear indication that you have moved permanently to Australia to start a new life and would mean that you are now taxable on worldwide income.
There are many concessions to start you off as a resident taxpayer including the fact that all income and assets up to the date of arrival are non taxable in Australia, but you should seek professional assistance to gain a full understanding of your situation.
There are also some special rules for people living in Australia on Temporary Visa’s that can ensure no tax is payable on worldwide income even if they are living in Australia on a full time basis.
If you simply are on a short term visit to satisfy the Visa requirements or a holiday, then you would remain a Non Resident for Australian Tax purposes which would mean that your worldwide income would be completely ignored. Only Australian property rental and Australian sourced wages would be subject to taxation.
Interest earnings, share dividends and capital gains are not subject to taxation in Australia for Non Residents.
Once you have your approved Permanent Visa stamped you usually have up to five years to relocate to Australia, and it would not be until the actual relocation that tax implications would begin.
This may give you time to plan effectively for your subsequent arrival.