For your convenience, our most common customer questions are answered right here.
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Q: Can I get my ATO tax returns in a non-English language?
A: Of course! How else would the ATO take money from Australians more comfortable in a different tongue if they didn’t provide them with forms they could understand? Forms are offered in 19 different languages on the ATO site, including Macedonia, Dari, and Thai. If you find that your language isn’t available, I would suggest two things: one, finding a tax agent who is comfortable in both langyages and second, contacting the ATO. They won’t be able to provide resources in languages until they’re told that they need to!
Q: I’m not an Australian citizen–do I still have to lodge ATO tax returns?
A: Yes and no. It depends on what kind of non-citizen you are. Are you a student or tourist who’s here for an extended period of time? Don’t worry, no taxes for you! In fact, you’re eligible to get your VAT taxes back at the airport. But if you’re a non-resident who lives and works in Australia, yes, you do have to do those ATO tax returns. How much you have to pay depends on a bunch of factors, including how long you’ve been in the country, if you earn interest in foreign bank accounts, and how much you’re working. I would highly recommend using a tax agent or e-tax service that focuses on immigration tax if your situation is particularly complicated. Otherwise, more elodging services should suit you.
Q: Should I attached my tax file number to my bank accounts?
A: Your ATO tax returns–and ultimately your refund or tax owed–depends on your tax file number. Your employers have to give the ATO your income information, but banks aren’t required to. If they don’t, you have the maximum tax taken off the top and then can get it back on refund when you file those ATO tax returns. However nice it may be to get such a big chunk of money back, I strong recommend letting your bank put your tax file number on the account. This means you only pay the minimum tax throughout the year. While you’re less likely to get money back that also means less money was taken from you during the year. And that’s worth it.
Q: What is a Tax Return?
A: Everybody that works in Australia will pay tax on their income. If you are an international student, a working holiday maker or holder of a 457 Visa, usually 29% of your income will be automatically deducted for tax purposes. When you leave Australia, or at the end of the financial year (June 30), you can claim a tax refund.
Q: When is the Tax Return time?
A: June 30th is the end of the Australia’s financial year. Write in your diary! You can apply for your tax return for any work that you have done in Australia between July 1st to June 30th.
Q: What if I am leaving the country before June 30th?
A: If you are leaving Australia you can claim tax back at any time, as long as you will not be returning to work before June 30th.
Q: What will I need for my Tax return?
- Tax File Number (this can usually be found on your pay slips or PayG Summary)
- A PayG Summary (also known as a Group Certificate) or your Final Pay Slip from each employer
At the end of the financial year your employer should give you a PayG Summary. This is a summary of all work and tax deducted for that employer throughout the financial year. If you cannot find your documents, your tax agent can help you retrieve them for an additional cost.
Q: How long does it take?
A: It will usually take 2 – 4 weeks for you to receive your Australian tax refund once you have successfully lodged your application
Q: What is the average refund amount?
A: Most working holiday makers will pay 29% Tax on their income. The average tax refund is around $2500.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: If you have worked in Australia you are legally liable to submit a tax return. Most companies have a no refund, no fee policy. This means that you can register your details for free and if you are not entitled to a tax refund you will not need to pay a fee. You can apply for your refund for free online at www.ato.gov.au, however it can be extremely confusing! We recommend using a Tax Agent specialising in working holiday makers.
Q: What if I have lost my payslips?
A: You can ask your employer for a PayG Summary at the end of the financial year. If you are missing this however most tax agents will help you retrieve the documents.
Q: Am I an Australian resident for tax purposes?
A: During the first 6 months of your time in Australia you are legally classified as a non resident for tax purposes. If you have stayed for longer than 6 months and have demonstrated a tenancy to stay you will be considered as a resident for tax purposes. When you complete your tax form you will be asked questions such as your address, length of stay, length of employment, etc which will determine your status.
Q: When will I receive the Tax refund?
A: You will receive the refund within 2 – 4 weeks. This can be deposited into your Australian or overseas bank account*
Q: What is Superannuation and can I claim that back?
A: Usually if you earn more than $450 a month you will have paid Superannuation. Once you have left Australia you can claim your Superannuation. You can do this at any time during the year.