Australia Live - Get informed about it all in Australia
This is already September, It's over tax time! Have you lodged your Tax Return? This is about time to understand how taxes work in Australia!
In Australia, when you are working, taxes are automatically deducted from your salary. If you are on a Working Holiday Visa or a Student Visa, as your income won't be too high, you can receive a major part of your taxes back. Indeed, it is called Tax Return in Australia, meaning Tax declaration. It can be a good deal for you if you do it correctly because you can leave Australia or enter the next financial year with big Dollars in your pockets!
In average, if you have worked for one year on a WHV, you can receive up to $2600 back. Naturally, if you are on a student Visa, as you can't work full time, the amount will be less important.
How does Tax Return work in Australia?
It is important for you to know if you are considered as a resident for tax purposes (that is being taxed as an Australian resident or citizen), because your Tax Return amount will depend on this.
Here are the conditions:
- If you are not an Australia citizen or resident, you will need to work 6 months or more in Australia, in the same city or State to receive the resident for tax purposes status.
- If you work one year without break but in many different states, you won't be considered as resident and you will be taxed at a higher rate.
Tax rates are the following for the resident status:
- If you earn less than $20,000/year, you won't be taxed and you will get all your money back;
- If you are between $20,000 and $37,000/year, you will be taxed at a 19% rate;
- If you are part of the higher income panel, you will be taxed at 33%.
However these tax rates may change from July 2016: whatever your income is, even if it's less than $20,000/year, you will be taxed at a 32.5% rate. We will keep you updated as soon as these changes will take effect.
Another piece of information to be aware of: the financial year in Australia starts on 01/07 and finishes on 30/06 of each year. If you arrive in January and leave in December, you will need to make 2 tax return applications: one from January to end of June, and one from July until December.
If you wish to obtain the resident status, you will need to calculate your timing (more than 6 months before the 30th June). :-)
Applying for a tax return in Australia: what are the steps?
To apply for a tax return, you will need to respect some conditions:
- Have a TFN - Tax File Number (your social security number)
- Being employed and declared (obviously) and having received from your employer(s) your PAYG Summary which summarizes the income amount you received and the deducted taxes. Without these PAYG Summaries, you won't be able to apply for your Tax Return.
You have different ways to apply for your Tax Return:
- Online directly on the ATO - Australian Tax Office Website, this is the E-Tax Return, it's free and you can apply here: But it could be relatively complicated, especially if your English level is not fluent: if you tick the wrong information, ATO will come back to you to ask for the undeclared taxes. We have often been witness of this situation with our students who were asked to pay between $500 and $2,000 instead of being refunded.
- Through a Tax Agent (accountant): you need to select them carefully, because as you are not automatically considered as resident, it is better to use agencies specialised in Working Holiday or international students status. They understand quickly what's wrong and they can rectify your information; they can even contact your former employers if some documents are missing. The big advantage is that they can refund you on your Australian or you home bank account. We can recommend you a Tax Agency if you need it. Link for contact Form
- You can apply for your tax return anytime during the year as long as you have a proof that you will leave Australia and won't come back (flying tickets are enough): in this case, you can receive your taxes and Superannuation at the same time
- The deadline for your Tax Return application in Australia is on the 31st October each year, except if you use a Tax Agent.
- You will receive an answer from ATO within a month if you apply online and if you use a Tax Agent it might be even faster. The delay might vary depending on the period you lodged your tax Return.
Other questions on Tax Return? Click here
You are thinking about Australia but everything is still a bit blurry in your head?
First things first, you need to ask yourself before you leave: in which context do I want to come to Australia: To gain experience and to find a casual job? To settle in Australia and to start your career? To improve your English level to make your Resume more relevant?
The conditions and preparations will be different depending on your objectives and will determine your success in your project.
Focus on the different Australian Visas with work permits:
The first obstacle to consider will be the work permit you can obtain in Australia. As you might know, the work rights are different for immigrants. You need to familiarize yourself with the different work Visas and understand their conditions.
There are quite a lot of working Visas, all of them are fee-paying and are delivered by the DIBP (Department of immigration and Border Protection).
- Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417): if you are British, Italian, Scandinavian or from any eligible country (click here for the list of eligible countries: you can apply for this Visa online. It allows you to work for 1 year from your first day in Australia. If your country doesn’t appear in this list, be aware there is another similar work visa: the Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462) which has different conditions for different countries.
WARNING: you can't work for more than 6 months for the same employer, therefore, it will reduce your long term job perspectives. However, you can renew this Visa for another year if you meet all the conditions (proofs of employment for 3 months or more in a registered farm). This Visa costs $440.
- Student Visa: you need to enrol for a full time, on campus and fee-paying course with a CRICOS registration number. This Visa is valid for the whole length of your studies. You will be able to work part time during your studies (40h/fortnight) and without any limitations during your holidays. This Visa costs $550.
- Temporary Work Visa (subclass 400, 401): Valid for 1 year but won't allow you to stay for more than 3 months in Australia and to obtain a fix salary. This Visa costs between $165 and $360.
- Business Sponsorship Visa (Subclass 457) and ENS (Employer Nomination Scheme – Subclass 186): Valid from 1 to 4 years. You will need to find a company which is willing to sponsor you, which is respecting the work conditions and which is eligible by the DIBP. You will have to prove your value to convince your employer, it might take some time.
Important information to read here . It is advised to consult an immigration agent beforehand, we can put you in contact with a migration lawyer for a consultation. Contact us now if you are interested
- The Training and Research Visa (Subclass 402): this Visa allows you to do a paid or unpaid internship for a maximum length of 1 year. You will have to find an Australian company which already has the license for this Visa and which can provide you with a mission.
- The Post Study Work Visa (Subclass 186) (from 2 to 4 years): you are only eligible for this Visa if you have studied for at least 2 years in an Australian university and if you graduated from it (the grant date of your student Visa will be a main condition to know if you are eligible or not). It is advised to consult a migration agent beforehand, we can put you in contact with a migration lawyer. Contact us now if you need a consultation. (link to contact form)
- Skilled Migration Visa (subclass 175 – 189 – 190) or permanent Residency Visa: the conditions for these visas are so complex and versatile that it is strongly recommended to consult a registered immigration agent. We can put you in contact with an immigration lawyer if needed. Link to our contact form
For more details about Working Visas in Australia, click here
Some tips to increase your chance of finding a job!
- Your English level will be the most important point. No English, No job! Or you will find an unqualified and low-paid job. The higher your English level is, the more chances you will have to find your dream job. Firstly test your English here for free to assess your level!
- Don't underestimate the importance of networking and a “local experience in Australia; if you don't have any Australian contacts or local experience, it will be difficult for you to find an interesting job :-( So don't hesitate to accept trials and to prove your value to the company; volunteering or internships could also be a good solution. Make yourself irreplaceable within the company so they will do everything they can to keep you. It will be the occasion for you to differentiate yourself or to be referred to another company :-)
- You need to check in advance your Diplomas recognition: for everything related to the services field, it is quite easy, however, for the health industry, the education and law, it is much more complicated to practice in these industries if you don't respect the Australian prerequisites. We can help you for this matter.
As you can see, it is not easy! It is vital to be prepared and to decide which approach you want to apply before you leave for Australia.
To help you in your preparations, here are some suggestions:
- You are thinking of coming alone to Australia and your English level is poor? Why not considering a student Visa? We can help you to find a school which fits your expectations
- Your English level is intermediate and you have a limited budget? Why not applying for a Working Holiday Visa and choosing one of our packs to insure a safe and relax arrival in Australia? Link to packs.
- Forget about applying for the sponsor Visa (457) from your country, because you need to be onshore to have the best chances of success. So then take your chance on a Working Holiday visa ou student visa
- You don't know what to choose between all these solutions, or nothing really relates to your profile? Contact us, we are here to help. (link to contact form)
To know more about work in Australia, please click here
We all ask ourselves the same question: what's the best way to reach a successful career? To start and finish your studies in your home country, or challenge yourself and go abroad?
It is now a reality, English has become the main international language, therefore it is compulsory for you to speak the language if you want to find a job or to improve your career opportunities.
English speaking countries: pros and cons:
If you compare English speaking countries in the world, here are the challenges waiting for you:
- USA: they have some of the best universities, that's true, but they also are extremely expensive! It is a relatively welcoming country but it can also become really violent (mass killings in schools, universities and religious centres, which are not reassuring) and extreme in terms of religion.
- UK: it is an easily accessible country for all Europeans and the Universities' reputation is excellent, but it's still Europe (no real personal challenge), the economy is slowing down like the rest of Europe and it's far from being an exotic destination. The rain is as famous as in Paris.
- Canada: It's a Welcoming Country, but the cold weather there is extreme. If you are an amateur of sun and warm temperature, think twice before going there. :-)
- South Africa: it is mainly the political instability which makes this country dangerous and not really attractive. You don’t want to go to a destination where you have to watch your bags and your back constantly!
- Malta: it's still Europe... English is one of the official language, but not a native one and graduating from Malta won't really improve your CV. Moreover, it is a tiny country, you can quickly run out of things to do over there.
- New Zealand: this country is such a mysterious island, located on the other side of the world, but not many people know about it, it offers easy but limited career opportunities and quite poor weather...
- Hong Kong-Singapore: these are famous cities, with a growing economy, but these cities are extremely polluted, especially Hong Kong. English is not a native language and it is quite tough to befriend the local population. You generally end up staying with other expats.
- Australia: the country is indeed on the other side of the world, but it enjoys some of the best universities. Highly welcoming country with a nice weather all year long (according to the National Weather Bureau, Sydney has 340 sunny days per year), extraordinary beaches where you can surf everyday (Australia has more than 25,000 km of Coastline, you have the choice!), breathtaking landscapes (Ayers Rock is one in many more, knowing that Australia has hundreds of National Parks), unique fauna (who else can say they have Koalas and Kangaroos on their territory), a strong economy (only 5% unemployment rate).
Australia, the best choice to make!
No hesitation, Australia will please you at once! It gathers all the positive aspects to offer you an unforgettable and successful experience. Furthermore, it's a trendy destination for young people, especially since it is one of the rare countries that has survived the financial crisis so well. Australia was able to successfully anticipate and smartly confront this economic tsunami.
You will benefit from this economic wisdom during your study stay Down Under by learning from it so that you can also be wiser.
You'll make friends and have a good time in Australia!
Moreover, everything is much easier in Australia if you wish to study there:
- The Student Visa application is online,
- You may be granted your student visa between 7 days and 2 months after you lodged your application (according to your nationality)
- You will be able to work as soon as your course starts!
- You can change your educational provider after 6 months if you are not happy with your course (conditions apply)
- Australia has the most sophisticated international student protection scheme, called the ESOS act : this is a legal frame which main objective is the protection of all international students. Click here for further details
The toughest part is to find your preferred area of studies and the right establishment in Australia. There are so many that it is easy to get lost within all the websites and their information. (cf: Article on Visas)
This is where we can guide you, advise you and assist you all the way. You need our help? Click here (contact form link)
See you soon in Australia!
How to be a real Aussie: Rule Number 1: get the Aussie Attitude!
Australia, as a former convict colony, was destined to quite a trashy future. However, thanks to the harsh everyday conditions, same as for inmates, jail officers and queen's soldiers, a deep sense of equality and mutual assistance developed since the beginning; then 3 typical Australian principles emerged:
- Fair Go
What does this mean? These are untouchable principles in Australia and if you don't understand these particularities, you will have difficulties to grab the jokes and Australian comedies, even the people's reactions in a political context.
Mateship is everything symbolising mutual assistance: whatever the situation is, if you know people or not, if someone needs help, no hesitation, everyone will come to the rescue. A typical example was during the mortal floods in Queensland, especially in Brisbane in 2014: 50,000 volunteers came individually in addition to the fire brigades, from each state, to help restore Brisbane from the flood. No one thought it was purely a government obligation, but rather a citizen duty. Try it yourself: stop anywhere with a map in your hand and act like if you were lost, I guarantee you people will come and talk to you directly and offer their help.
Larrikinism is a typically Australian behaviour which shows a certain disdain for social conventions, imposed politics and class hierarchy: “I won't acknowledge any authority if it affects my personal freedom”. It cannot be considered as arrogance, just a deep feeling of equality. Indeed Australian soldiers got noticed during world wars I and II because of their lack of compliance toward the British armies, when orders didn't go their way. As you can notice nowadays, at work everyone is treated the same way: boss, managers, clerks and cleaners.
Fair Go is an institution in Australia: everyone has a place and a chance in society, as long as you deserve it. Everyone can succeed in Australia, whatever your origins. You will quickly notice that middle Management are generally migrants and all the millionaires aren't necessarily Australian-born.
To conclude this first part: you need to forget your European habits when arriving in Australia, such as:
- Criticise or judge people (about their look, behaviour etc)
- Thinking you are smarter than everyone else
- Whatever your social class is, you will be treated equally as everyone else
If you want to know more about this matter, we recommend you the following books:
- The Lucky Country from Donald Horne ,
- The Fatal Shore from Robert Hughes,
- The Potato Factory from Bryce Courtenay
And the following movies:
We will conclude on these supporting words: You'll be right mate! Good on you! :-)