Welcome to Oz, folks.
Tax is probably the last thing on your mind but there’s a very good reason to be clued in. Two words – TAX REFUNDS.
This article covers the basics of what you need to know about Oz tax and how to claim your tax refund. We’ve gathered together the questions we get asked most by new arrivals. If you want to know anything that isn’t covered here, you can call into one of our helpdesks or ring our free-phone Australian number.
The average tax refund Down Under is AU$2600
1. Do I need to file a tax return?
Yes. Anybody that works in Australia needs to file a return at the end of the financial year regardless of income earned. This obligation applies to all including working holiday makers and students.
2. How do I know if I'm a resident or non-resident for tax purposes?
The main requirement to be deemed a resident for tax purposes is that you have continuously resided in Australia for a period of 183 days (6 months). There are a number of other factors that will be looked at to determine this but that 183 day residency rule is the main requirement. When you file your tax return you will be asked to compete a residency questionnaire and the purpose of this is to establish your correct tax residency designation
It is for the above reason that we advise that all working holiday makers declare themselves for all jobs as non residents for tax purpose for at least the first six months in Australia to avoid any issue when it comes to filing your income tax return/refund.
3. What happens if you don't file a tax return?
If you don’t file a tax return you’re leaving yourself wide open to fines and penalties. But don’t panic, filing a tax return is easy enough to do, especially when you engage yours truly to do it! Apart from avoiding fines, why should I file a tax return? We’re back to those two words again – TAX REFUNDS! When we file your Australian tax return, we also check if you’re due back money. 80% of our customers who have overpaid tax are due an income tax refund. The average Oz income tax refund is $2600. Starting to make sense?
4. How do I claim my tax back?
You can either give us a call, come to one of our many offices or apply through our website.
5. What documents do I need?
The more info you can provide the better. We recommend hanging on to the following:
• Payment documents eg payslips (your final payslip from each job is the most important so keep it safe)
• Any proof of address in Australia including bank statements, TFN statement, Lease Agreement, Gym Membership, Phone or Utility Bill
• Work-related expense receipts e.g. for Uniform, Work Courses, Tools/Equipment or Car/ transport
I plan to work for myself. What do I need to provide?
If you decide to work on your own make sure you keep ALL of your invoices and ensure they account for all work completed.
6. When can I apply for my tax refund?
You can apply when the tax year ends or when you leave. The tax year in Oz runs from July 1st to June 30th.
7. What's a superannuation/super fund?
If you earn over $450 per month in Australia your employer is legally obliged to pay into a superannuation fund for you. They should be paying 9.5% of your basic earnings (in addition to your wages) into a nominated superannuation fund. Many employers will have a default super fund that they will pay into, however, we recommend that you try to only have ONE fund. All you need to do is give each of your employers the name of the fund and your member number so they continue to pay into the same one. This means you’ll be able to claim a refund from one provider rather than trying to track down refunds from lots of different funds. (Trust us, it gets confusing otherwise!)
8. Can I claim my super refund back?
Yes. However, you can only claim your superannuation refund when you have left Australia or your visa has expired.
9. What do I need to do?
The most important thing to do is to make sure you provide us with an up-to-date contact number so we can remind you when it’s time to apply for your tax refund. Simply send your full name, date of birth, contact number and your entry / exit dates to firstname.lastname@example.org. That way, we can build your details into our calendar for both your income tax and superannuation refund.
Free Australia Working Holiday Guide
10. How does the tax refund service work?
We specialise in keeping things as easy as possible. Our service works as follows:
1. You fill out a short form
2. We provide you with a free refund estimation
3. We file your tax return and submit it the Australian Tax Office (ATO)
4. You get your refund back and go and spend it!