Learn how we got a refund of $22k for Don. No two days are the same when you are working in Taxback.com - the variety of clients that we meet and have the opportunity to work with is extremely varied, and this particular case has to be one of my favourites to date.
On the 15th July 2013, our helpdesk representative James in Darwin called to run over a case that he had not come across in the past – as it turned out, the case in question was a brand new one for Taxback as a whole, and not just his particular branch.
While James had been out on one of his partner visits, he happened to bump into a gentleman called Don. Darwin is a friendly place, so as they got chatting and James learned more about Don, he realised he might be eligible to reclaim some tax from his time in Australia. However, Don wasn’t your standard case – he had come here from Canada on a 457 Visa for a specific project offshore in Western Australia. He worked within the offshore oil and gas sector, and during his employment he resided on his own yacht offshore, spending most of his time at sea and very little time on dry land!
Don popped into the Taxback.com office at the Youth Shack on Mitchell Street later on for a more official appointment, and began to explain more to James about his circumstances. It quickly became clear that Don was not to be a normal case. Although this meeting took place in July 2013, Don had arrived in Australia in May 2012, and was just spending a couple of days in Darwin. During his 14 months in Australia, these few consecutive days were amongst the longest time he spent on mainland Australia.
The average tax refund Down Under is AU$2600
This immediately raised residency questions for this case – we have seen all sorts of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) files in the past, and dealt with a variety of complexities in terms of Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA) zone offsets, but to encounter a man that resided on a boat for over a year was a first!
The tax agents reviewed the case, and were able to conclude that if Don’s employment and residency were within Australian waters that he would indeed be a resident for tax purposes and be able to file a refund for his overpaid taxes – landlubber or not!
The result: a hefty tax refund!
Taxback.com successfully secured an income tax refund of $16,926.47, and a superannuation refund of $5,169.82 for Don. At the end of the process, Don gave us this rather formal statement:
"As an Expat with a 457 Australian Visa departing Australia from Darwin, I was fortunate to locate the offices of Taxback.com, where after explanation of my employment history for the current Tax year, I was initially serviced by their local agent with close personnel concern and thereafter promptly represented by a client Account Executive for the duration of my claims for both Income tax and Superannuation remittance. I would not hesitate to retain their services again and recommended them as a one-stop solution to Australian Taxation and Superannuation recoverable."