Everyone working has to pay tax in Australia, regardless if you are citizen or not.

Firstly though, if you do not register for a tax file number (TFN) you will be taxed at a rate of 47%, so be sure to register as soon as you arrive. .

The financial year in Australia runs from the 1st of July, until the 30th of June. However if the working holiday maker is leaving Australia before the end of the financial year, then they can complete a tax return for the year in advance and lodge it with the ATO.


Apply for an Australian tax file number

A tax file number is similar to a social security card in The States, or a National Insurance Number in the UK. Basically it is used for tax purposes and students must have at least applied for their TFN before beginning work.

Applying for a tax file number is easy and can be done online. Check out this government link for the application for a tax file number.

How to get your submit your tax return

Students and other temporary residents can apply for their tax refund online here.

When you lodge your tax return be sure to apply for all the deductions that you are eligible for. This includes everything from clothing, computers, books, and phones footwear etc. And working holiday makers can claim up to $300 of expenses without having to provide receipts.


Superannuation and getting your and superannuation back

 Superannuation in Australia is for paid by employers for “retirement pension contributions.” Employers must pay superannuation for all employees of roughly 9% of wages per week. Non-residents can receive 70% of this superannuation back when they leave Australia. You will however need to list the name of your superannuation fund used by your employer, so be sure to ask.

Just to give you an idea of what kind of money you can expect to receive I will give you an illustration below.

An average working holiday maker might make $15000 throughout their time in Australia. Employers would contribute 9% of $15000 = $1350 to different superannuation funds on your behalf. This would mean you would receive $1350 x 70% = $945 back! So it is well worth doing the work before you leave.

A Working Holiday Maker should contact all former employers and ask for the following things:

  • A Group Certificate (a tax payment summary).
  • The name of the superannuation fund which the employer uses and the working holidayers employee membership number.

The working holidayer must then contact the superannuation fund and request a statement of benefits and an application form to claim the superannuation refund.


Tax in Australia was last modified: January 19th, 2017 by Nick Yock