If you worked in any of these countries, you could be due a Tax Refund

Backpacker Tax ruling: How to claim your Australian tax refund

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Did you visit Australia on a working holiday visa between 2017 - 2021? If so, there is some important information you need to know about claiming your Australian tax refund

The Australian High Court has unanimously ruled that the controversial 'Backpacker Tax' cannot be levied against citizens from certain foreign countries.

First launched in 2017, the tax excluded backpackers (those in Australia on a 417 or 462 Working Holiday Visa) from availing of the $18,200 tax-free threshold.

In short, backpackers were charged higher tax rates than Australian residents – 15% of their pay was deducted from the first dollar earned.

However, the High Court has now ruled that the Backpacker Tax cannot be applied to citizens of the UK, Israel, Germany, Finland, Chile, Japan, Norway and Turkey.

The judgement stated that the Backpacker Tax breached non-discrimination clauses which are built into tax treaties that Australia has signed with the eight affected countries.

If you visited Australia as a backpacker, you may now be wondering whether you are entitled to claim a tax refund.

In this guide, we are going to outline the steps you can take in order to claim your Australian tax refund.


The average tax refund Down Under is AU$2600

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Does this ruling mean I can apply for a tax refund?

The High Court’s decision is undoubtedly great news for backpackers who were in Australia between 2017 and 2021.

If you are a backpacker from one of the eight affected countries – UK, Israel, Germany, Finland, Chile, Japan, Norway and Turkey – it is likely that you will be entitled to claim a tax refund as a result of the Court’s decision.

It is anticipated that the Australian Government will now begin the process of removing the non-discriminatory taxation arrangements for the countries affected by the law.

In the coming weeks, it is expected that the ATO will confirm details of the application process for backpackers to pursue their tax refund.

In the meantime, you can register with Taxback.com here to stay up-to-date on the latest developments and to ensure that you receive your maximum Australian tax refund.

 

How can I prepare for my tax refund application?

By registering with Taxback.com, you can ensure that you receive your Australian tax refund without delay as soon as the ATO confirms details of the new tax rules for backpackers.

In the meantime, there is lots you can do to prepare for your refund application.

For starters, you can gather all of the documents you will need for your tax return.

These will include:

Payslips – your final payslip from each job is the most important so keep it safe!

Invoices – If you worked for yourself make sure you keep all of your invoices and ensure they account for all work completed

Proof of Australian address – examples include bank statements, TFN statement, Lease Agreement, Gym Membership, Phone or Utility Bill

Work-related expense receipts – e.g. for Uniform, Work Courses, Tools/Equipment or Car/ transport

Lost some of your documents? Our document retrieval team can help you find them!


The average tax refund Down Under is AU$2600

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I am not from one of the eight countries listed. Will I be entitled to a tax refund?

It is not yet clear whether backpackers who are not from the eight affected countries will be entitled to a tax refund.

However, the High Court’s ruling may set a precedent for the future of backpacker taxation in Australia.

Ultimately, it would be highly unusual for a country to have different tax rules for countries from similar territories.

Even if you are not from one of the eight affected countries, we recommend that you register with us here.

Our Australian tax team will keep you abreast of the latest developments with the Backpacker Tax and ensure that you receive your maximum tax refund.

Want to Learn More About Australian Tax?

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I claimed my tax back previously. Am I due a bigger refund?

If you have already claimed an Australian tax refund for the 2017-2020 tax years, it’s possible that you may be entitled to an increased refund as a result of the Backpacker Tax ruling.

With this in mind, we recommend that you register with Taxback.com. We will review your tax situation and check whether you are due an increased refund.

How do I claim my tax refund?

It’s easy to apply for your Australian tax refund with Taxback.com.

To get started, simply complete the short registration form here.

Once we receive your details, our Australian tax team will review your tax situation and ensure every tax credit, relief and expense is applied to your tax return – maximising your refund.

What about Superannuation?

Aside from your income tax refund, you may also be entitled to claim a rebate of your Superannuation contributions.

Superannuation is a deduction made by your employer (a percentage of your salary) that's put into a retirement fund.

Backpackers who leave Australia are entitled to claim a refund of their Super.

The average Superannuation refund is AU$1,908 so it’s definitely worth investigating how much you’re owed.

Taxback.com can help you claim your superannuation refund. Simply register here to get started.


The average superannuation refund is $1908

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Why apply with Taxback.com?

No refund, no fee’ service – it’s easy to check how much you’re owed

Simple online process – no complicated forms

Your maximum Australian tax refund guaranteed – we will ensure you claim every tax relief you’re due

Convenient global service – Already left Australia? No problem! We transfer your refund to your bank account anywhere in the world


About The Author

Rory Lynskey - Digital Content Executive @ Taxback.com

Rory is the Digital Content Executive at Taxback.com. Rory graduated from Technological University Dublin with a degree in Journalism in 2019, and has had his work published both online and in print at a national and regional level.

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