- Getting an income tax refund
If you become a resident for tax purposes while you are in Australia, then you may be entitled to claim a refund of the tax you paid at the higher rate when you were deemed a non-resident.
All temporary visa holders entering Australia pay the non-resident rate of tax during their first 6 months but if you stay longer, it’s likely you’ll be considered a resident for tax purposes.
There are a few factors that determine if you’re an Australian resident for tax purposes:
- How long you’ve been in the country
- Your behaviour while in Australia (ties, where you live, etc.)
If you’re visiting Australia for more than six months, live in the same place and establish ties with the local community, then you’re likely to be considered an Australian resident for tax purposes!
Using a tax agent likeTaxback.com will help you figure this out so you know exactly what you are entitled to and what your status is.
- Don’t forget your superannuation!
Even If you’re not eligible for an income tax refund you can still claim back your superannuation.
Superannuation is a percentage of your salary that gets put aside for the purposes of a retirement fund and if you earn $450pm or over then your employer will contribute to a super fund on your behalf.
Unless you plan on retiring in Australia, you should apply for this as soon as you leave!
You need to make sure your visa has expired and you have left Australia when you apply, however you may also apply for your visa to be cancelled if it has not yet expired.
The average superannuation refund with Taxback.com is around $3,380, so even if you can’t claim back the tax you paid as a foreign resident you can still walk away with a nice sum!
4. Medicare levy exemption
The Medicare levy is universal health scheme for Australians partly funded by taxpayers who pay a levy of 2.0% of their taxable income.
Some people are exempt from paying the levy, including some foreign citizens, yet it’s still deducted from their wages. If this happens in your case then you should apply for an exemption letter which will boost you tax refund.
You must earn more than $20,542 in the financial year to be eligible for a Medicare levy exemption and submit a Medicare Entitlement Statement separately to your tax return application.
It may take about 10-12 extra business days to get your refund but it will be worth it!
5. Declare bank interest
You must disclose any interest earned from the bank on your annual tax return. The Australian Tax Office has visibility on taxpayers’ bank interest so not declaring it will simply further delay your refund!
6. Claim work expenses
Work expenses are a great way to boost your tax refund. Some expenses related to your occupation are tax deductible, so what you can claim really depends on what your job was in Australia.
To claim an expense:
- You must have paid for it yourself and weren’t reimbursed
- It was related to your job
- You must have a record or proof (with some exceptions)
Types of expenses
- Courses such as RSA, RCG, and white cards.
All these items are deductible and can have a big impact on your tax return.
You should retain your receipts for work expenses so you can have proof for the Australian Tax Office if required.
At Taxback.comwe can tell you what you need to submit as evidence.
Filing a tax return
You’re legally obliged to file an Australian tax return if you’ve paid tax of any kind during your stay, even on a working holiday visa or as a foreign resident.
If you don’t submit by 31 October, you could face a penalty and miss out on any refunds!
The average tax refund Down Under is AU$2600, so find out what you’re owed today with a free estimate from Taxback.com here.