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Tax Guide to Working in Australia



Income Tax

It may seem harsh as a humble traveller, but you will have to pay tax on any earnings while you are in Australia. In order to make sure you are paying the right amount of tax, you should have a tax file number (TFN). When you have your working holiday visa and an address in Australia that the tax office can send your TFN to, you can apply online for a TFN. You can’t apply online for a TFN while you are outside of Australia. Once you have applied, it takes up to 28 days for the tax office to process your application.

If you have worked without a tax number, and have been paying a higher rate of tax, you could be entitled to a refund. Remember to keep payslips and your tax file number safe, in case you need to apply for a refund. If you can, get a Group Certificate from your employer before you leave. You need to hand in a written request at least 14 days before you finish work. Your Group Certificate is a record of all the tax you have paid in total during that period.


Goods and Services Tax (GST)

GST is charged at 10% on loads of things you will buy while in Australia. There is a tourist refund scheme, which means you can claim the tax back from any purchases over AUD$300 when you are at the airport on the way home. You will need all your receipts and restrictions may apply. One restriction is that you can only claim the tax back on something you have bought up to 30 days before your departure date. Not much use if you have been travelling for a while!