Getting Tax Back in Australia
As a temporary resident of Australia you will have to pay taxes just like everyone else. Plus, if you started working before getting an Australian tax file number then you will have been taxed at the highest possible rate of 46% and will most likely be due a tax return when you are ready to leave the country.
The whole Australian tax return process isn't completely black and white. There are some grey areas and filing for an Australian tax return can be a bit too much of a hassle for backpackers who were in the country for a good time, not a long time, and donít necessarily think about things like tax. But everyone should look into filing a tax return because for a bit of hassle, you could end up with a nice bit of cash that will make it worth your while.
Anyone working in Australia and paying tax could be eligible for a tax return. As a non-resident, if you are leaving Australia and will no longer earn an income in Australia you may be able to file an early tax return. If you will be in Australia over the regular tax return season then you will be required to file your return during the normal lodgment which is between July 1st and October 31st.
Filing a Regular Tax Return
Australian tax return claims can be filed online by visiting the Australian Taxation Office website. Claims for the previous tax year must be filed between July 1st and October 31st.
Filing an Early Tax Return
Download and print the Taxpayer Leaving Australia - Request for Early Assessment form. You can also get the form at your nearest Tax Office or by calling 1300 720 092 and requesting it be sent to you. All of the instructions are on the form.
For any tax return you file you will need payment summaries (previously called group certificates) from each employer you have worked with during the tax year. So make sure you hang on to any documentation you get from your employers and keep them in a safe place. If your employer canít provide you with a payment summary, a statement of earnings from your employer is sufficient. Make sure to include your employerís Payer Withholder number as well as all of your wage details.
If you donít want to go through the hassle of lodging your Australian tax return yourself, you can use the services of a tax rebate company. You send them the information they need about all of your employers and the amount you earned, and they do everything and send you money once your return comes through. They take a cut, but they are also more likely than you to get more tax back since they know all the ins and outs of the system.
How much you get back depends on how much you have worked. If you worked without having an Australian Tax File Number and were taxed at the highest rate, you are likely to get tax back to offset this. Tax returns will be processed in approximately six weeks and can be paid either into your Australian or an overseas bank account.
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