Oh no- That time has come! You have picked your fruit, drank all the beer you could handle, haven’t slept in months due to all of the fun you are having, have a rockin’ tan, thought about (or did) get dread locks…and it is time to leave… NOOOOO!!!!! There are a few dreary paperwork details you need to clean up before boarding that flight to your next adventure.
Payment Summary:When you stop work in Australia, ask your employer for a payment summary showing your total income and the tax that has been withheld. You will need a payment summary from every employer you have worked for during the year in Australia in order to complete your tax return.
Tax Year: The Australian tax year starts on 1 July and ends on 30 June. Employers are asked to issue payment summaries within the first 2 weeks of July. If you work and manage to overlap two income years you should receive 2 payment summaries – one from each year. (Hint- if you arrive in June- wait till July to start working if you can.)
Lodging a Tax Return: You must lodge a return each tax year byOctober 31 . After you lodge, it can take 6 weeks to find out if you owe or will get a return. Make sure the address you give will be good for those 6 weeks. You can lodge your tax return on line using e-tax, by using a paper return having a tax agent , or a tax help volunteer.
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Online: go to www.ato.gov.au, download and install e-tax. Complete the questions it asks you, verify your identity and lodge return on line. Processed in 14 days.
Paper Tax Pack Guide: Free from most newsagents from July to October and from Tax Office shop fronts all year. If you are overseas you can pick the pack up from an embassy or consulate. Mail it into the Tax office.
Registered Tax Agent:: If you are like me and terrible with paperwork- you might want to use a Tax Agent. There are a million and one agencies that advertise in all of the Traveller Magazines to help you with you tax. If you want to be sure they are reputable, you can find a list of Registered Tax agents at: www.tabd.gov.au or call 1300 362 829 if you have questions about an agent.
Call 13 28 61 if you are leaving before the end of the tax year.
SuperAnnuation: Basically a really long word for Retirement Savings . If your wage is more than $450 your employer must contribute an amount equal to 9% of wage into Super for you. Now obviously, if you are only working in Australia for 3 months, you hardly need a retirement fund. For rules concerning getting your Super back when you leave- see www.ato.au/super and go to Temporary Residents
Well good luck and hope you had a great time while you were here!