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Watch out for the Tax Man! Working in Australia you guide to Tax matters.

images.jpgOK- So you got your visa, arrived in Australia, earned your additional Australian Certifications, and are now looking for a job. There is one more thing you are going to need…a Tax File Number (TFN)! You don’t have to get one but it is DEFINATELY in your best interest. Without one you will be hard pressed to find an employer and you will be taxed at the maximum rate. In order to apply- you may either go to a Tax office, or simply go online.

To use the online system you must be in the country and have a valid passport and your other relevant travel documents. You will also need an address in Australia at which you can collect mail. If your application is successful your TFN will be mailed within 10 days.

To Apply Online:

  • Go to the ATO website (
  • In the search box select individuals and in the for box type online TFN
  • From the results select online individual tax file number (NAT 4157)
  • select Apply for a tax file number.

If you don’t have Internet access call 132861 for other options.

Most Working holiday makers are taxed as non-residents. However, if you are here on a slightly longer visa, or are sponsored you will need to decide if you are a resident for tax purposes. This has absolutely nothing to do with your actual immigration status. However, if you do qualify- you will be taxed at a lower rate.

If you think you might be a Resident are unsure:

  • Go to
  • In the search box choose All ATO(except legal database)
  • In the “For” box type resident.
  • From the results click on are you a resident?

If you start work before giving your employer your TFN you have 28 days to give it to them. During this time you will be taxed at non-resident rates. If you have not given it to them at the end of 28 days- they will have to tax you at the maximum rate. ARG! NO!