4Tax return FAQ

Tax return FAQ

When do I have to lodge my Australian tax return?

Between July 1st and October 31st or when you leave Australia.

Note that you may have to lodge two tax returns if you work during two fiscal years. In Australia, the fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30, so if you work from April 2019 to October 2020, you must lodge a tax return for the 2019 fiscal year and the 2020 fiscal year.

Do I have to do anything to get my tax refund?

The only thing you have to do is to keep a record of claimable expenses then lodge a tax return at the end of the fiscal year. Once the ATO has processed your tax return (it usually takes a couple of weeks if you lodged your tax return online), you will be issued a notice of assessment telling you if you’re entitled to a refund or that you have a tax debt to pay.

Do I have to lodge a tax return as a working holiday maker?

It depends on the income you earned and on your status:

  • If the total of your taxable income for the fiscal year (July 1-June 30) was less than $45,001 and if you all your income was earned as salary and wages, lodging a tax return is optional (tax was already withheld on your income). However, you can lodge a tax return if you think the wrong tax rate was applied or if you can claim deductions.
  • You must lodge a tax return if your total income for the fiscal year (July 1-June 30) was more than $45,001.
  • You must lodge a tax return if you earned income as a self-employed individual (i.e. no tax was withheld from your pay cheque, it’s time to pay tax to the ATO!).

How do I lodge my tax return?

There are two options:

  • You can lodge your own tax return online using myTax, the ATO’s web-based software. Help is available to get the best tax rate (starting in 2017, after the “backpackers tax” changes) and there are several “how-to” videos available.
  • You can use a registered tax agent to prepare and lodge your tax return. Taxback.com is one of the biggest tax solutions used in Australia—get 10% off using this link.

What deductions can I claim?

When you lodge your tax return, you might be able to claim a deduction for expenses that directly relate to your work.

The ATO reminds you that:

You must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed.

  • It must directly relate to earning your income.
  • You must have a record to prove it.
  • If the expense was for both work and personal purposes, you can only claim a deduction for the work-related portion.

Expenses directly related to your work, include:

  • Vehicle and travel expenses such as gas (including travel between work and home).
  • Clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses.
  •  Tools and other equipment

A full list of acceptable expenses is available on the ATO’s website.

If you use a registered tax agent or tax solution like Taxback, make sure you keep all receipts to provide them with the records they need for all the deductions you want to claim.

Help! I went home without lodging my Australian tax return!

It’s never too late to lodge your tax return. However, it may be tricky if you don’t have all your Australian pay slips handy because you won’t know how much income in total to declare. Taxback.com can retrieve this info for you for a fee, if needed.

Every year, thousands of backpackers go home without lodging their tax return or claiming their superannuation, and the Australian government keeps the money—we’ve heard it was a lot of unclaimed money… So check if you can get your hands on what you’re owed!

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Cofondatrice de pvtistes.net, j'ai fait 2 PVT, au Canada et en Australie. Deux expériences incroyables ! Je vous retrouve régulièrement sur nos comptes Insta et Tiktok @pvtistes avec plein d'infos utiles !
Cofounder of pvtistes.net. I went to Canada and Australia on Working Holiday aventures. It was amazing!

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(2) Comments

Clemence I |

Bonjour, nous sommes un couple de pvtiste. Est-il possible d’ouvrir un seul compte de superannuation ? Ou doit on obligatoirement en avoir 1 chacun ?
Merci d’avance

Annelise I |

Salut ! Il vous en faut un chacun je pense, comme vos salaires sont individuels et que la superannuation est calculée selon ces salaires.