In November 2021, the High Court in Australia ruled that the 'Backpacker Tax' was invalid.
This decision has left countless working holidaymakers wondering whether they are entitled to claim a tax refund.
However, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has now released guidance on how backpackers can claim their tax refund.
In this guide we are going to cover everything you need to know about the latest developments in the backpacker tax case.
What is the Backpacker Tax?
The controversial tax was introduced in 2017 and excluded workers who earned less than $18,200 from claiming the tax-free threshold.
Essentially, 15% of workers’ pay was deducted from the first dollar earned - a much higher rate than Australian citizens.
After the Backpacker Tax was introduced, there was a noticeable decline in backpacker numbers in Australia, causing difficulties for many regional farms and businesses needing seasonal staff.
The average tax refund Down Under is AU$2600
Who can claim an Australian tax refund?
In short, working holidaymakers who were in Australia during the 2017 – 2021 period can apply for a tax refund and may be eligible for the tax-free allowance if:
- They are a holder of a visa subclass 417 Working Holiday or 462 Work and Holiday
- They are a resident of Australia for tax purposes for the entire (or part of) income year.
- They are from one of the following countries:
- United Kingdom
Want to Learn More About Australian Tax?
Am I a resident or non-resident in Australia?
Unlike some countries, it’s rather easy to figure out whether you are considered resident or non-resident for tax purposes.
All temporary visa holders entering Australia are taxed as non-residents.
However, factors such as how long you’ve been in the country and your behavior while you’re in Australia can influence whether you will be seen as a resident in the future.
For example, if you’re visiting Australia for longer than six months, live in the same place and establish ties with the local community, then you’ll likely be considered an Australian resident for tax purposes.
What documents do I need to claim my Australian tax refund?
Applying for your refund with Taxback.com is incredibly easy! Simply register here to get started.
In order to complete your tax refund application, you will need:
- your PAYG form
- a copy of your ID,
- your Tax File Number
- and a signed letter of engagement
Once we have these, you can sit back and relax knowing your application is in the hands of tax experts!
How much tax back can I claim?
Depending on your personal circumstances, you could likely be due a substantial amount of tax back.
The average Australian refund is $2,600. But you could be due much more!
After all, you can also claim back Superannuation fees you paid during your employment in Australia.
In short, it’s well worth checking out how much tax you could be due back.
Our FREE refund calculator can help you figure out what you’re owed.
How long does a refund application take?
Put simply – that depends!
No refund application is the same as the other, so there is no set time each one will take.
A huge factor in how long your refund will take to arrive is when you apply for it.
If you apply for it after the tax deadline ends, and the Australian Tax Office are busy processing tax returns, it may take a couple of months for your cash to arrive.
However, if you apply for it earlier than this, you will receive your refund much quicker.
Who can help me with my refund application?
We will review your personal circumstances and check out whether you are due a tax refund.
Once we receive your details, our Australian tax team will review your tax situation and confirm whether you are due a refund.
Why use Taxback.com?
As well as saving you time, we will ensure you receive your MAXIMUM legal tax refund from Australia.
There are a wide range of benefits to applying with Taxback.com, including:
- ‘No refund, no fee’ service– it’s easy to find out how much you’re owed
- Simple online process– no boring and complicated forms
- Your maximum Australian tax refund guaranteed– we will make sure you get the maximum amount you’re due
- Convenient global service– It’s no problem if you’ve left Australia, after all, we can transfer your refund to your bank account no matter where you are in the world