During the working year, employers make contributions to their employees, part of which goes to the Australian Government. In some cases, however, it is possible to recover part of it. Through a practice called Tax Return, they check that the tax paid has been adjusted to the tax thresholds: if you have actually been taxed the right amount, you will not have to recover any money or give any to the state. If you have been taxed more, you will recover, conversely, if you have been taxed less than you should, you will have to pay the difference.
It is possible to complete this during a period called ‘Tax Season’, which we translate as ‘tax window’. This is the period between 1 July and 30 October each year.
If your visa is a Working Holiday Visa, your holder should have paid 15% per cent in taxes on the first $45,000 earned (as you can see from the photo or this link.
Statistically, it is rare for Working Holiday Visas to recoup good amounts of money, as from 2017 years the tax-free threshold on the first $18,200 earned, which is instead peculiar to other visas such as Student Visa, Post-Graduate, Sponsors, PR, citizens) has been removed. However, Working Holiday Visa holders are not obliged to complete the Tax Return if they have earned less than $37,000 during the financial year!
You can complete the Tax Return with the help of an accountant or complete it yourself. The accountant will clearly charge you (ranging from $50 to $200 depending on who does it).
Here are some tips if you want to try and figure out how to do it yourself:
✅ Log into your myGov Account or create one [https://my.gov.au/LoginServices/main/login].
✅ Enter the ATO section, if you have done a tax return before, a small ATO icon will appear, click on that.
✅ If this is the first time you have done a tax return, a green icon will appear telling you ‘Link Your First Service’. You must then link your MyGov account to the ATO. It asks you whether you want to enter the information manually (but then it often doesn’t work) or via a code called the Linking Code. To get it, you have to call this number: 13 28 61. Talk to the operator and tell him that you need a Linking Code to lodge my Tax Return. Keep your passport and TFN handy.
✅ Once you have your Linking Code, enter it and proceed to enter the data requested.
✅ You will now find yourself in the ATO section of the MyGov Portal. At the bottom of the page, you will find a grid with six entries, select ‘Manage Tax Return’.
✅ You will now find a list of all the financial years you have been in Australia on a valid visa. Check the file, and you will be able to access the ‘estimate’ button, to check if you owe money or need to recover any.
✅ If the estimate convinces you, click submit and your Tax Return will be sent to the Australian Taxation Office.
If you notice any missing, don’t finalise the lodgement. If you know that you have been paid in good standing by, for example, 3 employers, wait until you see the data from the three employment reports on this portal. This is to make sure that there is a coincidence between the estimate and the refund you will be given (often some owners upload the info late, the estimate is calculated based on the information available but then the refund is based on how much you actually earned!).
Key documents you must gather
➕Tax File Number (TFN) and ABN
➕ Details of your bank account
➕ If you are an employee, payslips or pay records from your employer. If you work for ABN, the receipts of whatever you have acquired to do your job: computer, tablet, internet, among others.
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