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

Tax Tips for 13 Countries


New streets, fresh faces and exciting challenges; working in a new country has many fun prospects, the least exciting of which is probably your tax obligations

However being prepared when it comes to paying your taxes can really pay off, especially when it comes to home time and tax refunds.

Here are our top tax tips for 13 popular working holiday destinations.


1. Australia

You can work up to 6 months for each employer on your working holiday in Oz and as a non-resident you’ll be taxed at 32%. You’ll need to apply for a TFN (tax file number) before you start your first job and you can get one here before you go.



If you stay for 183 days or more you’ll typically be considered a resident for tax purposes and qualify for the tax-free threshold. This means you can earn up to $18,200 tax-free.

You should also be able to claim back the tax you overpaid at the end of the tax year from June 30.

There a few changes that will affect tax returns from January 2017 onwards, including the so-called ‘’Backpacker Tax’’, which means that working holidaymakers will be taxed 19% from the first dollar they earn. This means that from this time, you will not be able to avail of the tax-free threshold.


Read the blog post: Controversial backpacker tax slashed




If you earn over $450 pm, your employer will pay 9.5% of your wages into a superannuation fund. This fund is for Australians when they retire but unless you want to retire in Australia, you can claim a good portion of it back when you leave and your visa has expired!


Read the blog post: Your Guide to Superannuation


This is all set to change in 2017 when the proposed changes to the tax on super refunds will kick in. In this case the tax on super refunds will go up to 95%.

You can read more about these changes here.



To claim your Oz tax back you’ll need:

  • Final payslips
  • TFN (tax file number or ABN if you had one)
  • Copy of Your ID



Tax Facts:





2. Austria

You must to apply for a registration certificate (Anmeldebescheinigung) if you want to stay more than three months. You must be able to provide evidence that you can support your stay or are either employed or self-employed.




You’ll pay anything from 21%-50% income tax (Einkommensteuer) in Austria but it really depends on how much you earn.  If your worldwide income is less than €11 000, you pay tax only on Austrian sourced income.



You should file a tax return if:

  • Your yearly income is more than €11,000 and part of it is non-taxable.


However it’s always worth filing anyway as you could be entitled to a tax refund.



To claim your tax back you’ll need: 

  • A Lohnzettel (from your employer)
  • Copy of your ID


Get your Austrian tax refund estimate here.





3. Belgium


You should to register at the local municipal administration office/town hall (maison communale/gemeentehuis) within eight working days if you plan on staying three months or more.




Taxes in Belgium are at a rate of more than 50% for the highest earners.  If you stay for at least six months during the tax year and register with your local commune, you will be considered a resident and be taxed on your worldwide income. However if you stay for less than six months, you’ll be considered non-resident and taxed on your Belgian sourced income only.



Filing your tax return

You should receive a tax return in May–June (déclaration/aangifte) for the previous year’s income. 

For residents, this is usually filed at the end of June and for non-residents, you should file in September/October.



You could get a tax refund if:

  • You only worked part of the year
  • Your income was under the tax-free allowance
  • Your Belgian income was more than 75% of your worldwide income



To claim tax back you’ll need:

  • Loonfiche 281.10/ Fiche de Remuneration 281.10 (from your employer)
  • Copy of ID



Tax facts:






4. Canada

If you want to work here, you should apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) so your employer can tax you correctly.

You can also apply for one here before you go.



Taxes in Canada

How much tax you pay depends on your residency status but you’ll probably pay 15%-29% income tax on your wages. Working holidaymakers are typically deemed non-resident and are only taxed on Canadian income.



Read the blog post: Living in Canada Determining your residency status


To claim your tax back you’ll need:

  • T4 (statement of remuneration) or final cumulative payslip
  • SIN
  • Copy of ID



Tax facts:





5. Denmark

You should apply for a civil registration number if you intend to stay three months or longer (six months for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens) at the Danish National Register. 

If you are not resident in Denmark but earn income there, you may be subject to limited tax liability. If you stay for six months or more, you will most likely be liable to pay tax on income from Denmark and your worldwide income, with exceptions being students and tourists. However Denmark has a number of double taxation agreements with other countries so you should find out if any of these apply to you.



Tax rates

The tax rates in Denmark are based on categories of income and each category has a different tax rate but no one pays more than 51.95% in national municipal taxes in total.



You could be due a tax refund if:

  • You were on a limited-term contract
  • You paid for food and accommodation
  • You kept your residence in your home country while working in Denmark



To claim your tax back you’ll need:

  • Your Årsopgørelse (from the tax office)
  • Your ID


Tax facts:





6. Germany

You should apply for a Tax Identification Number (Identifikationsnummer) to work here. When you arrive, you need to register your address at the local registration office in your city hall or town. You’ll need your passport, visa, and a copy of the lease or rental agreement. The federal tax authority will send out your Tax ID within 2-3 weeks.




Employees in Germany pay up to 42.5% income tax on their earnings. German taxpayers pay income tax on their German income only but their progressive tax rates take into account worldwide income and assets. In addition to income tax, the ‘solidarity surcharge’ (Solidaritätszuschlag) is levied at a rate of 5.5%.



You may be due a refund if:

  • Your income was under the tax free allowance
  • You worked part of the year
  • You paid rent in Germany and your home country
  • You paid for flights to or from Germany
  • You had work expenses
  • Your spouse was living in EU-home country at the time


To claim your tax back you’ll need:

  • Your Lohnsteuerbescheinigung (official government form from your employer)
  • Copy of ID
  • Steueridentificationsnummer (a tax identification number) if you have one



Tax facts:

  • Tax filing deadline is May 31 of the following year (extended to Dec 31 if prepared by a tax professional).
  • You can file your return 4 years back
  • Get your free German tax refund estimate here.





7. Ireland

You should apply for a PPS number (Personal Public Service Number) and fill in Form 12A when you arrive. Then send this to Revenue (the tax authority) so you can get a tax credit certificate before you start working.

You can then give this to your employer to ensure you avoid paying emergency tax.




Three factors determine your liability for tax: Residency, ordinary residency and domicile status. Tax is charged as a percentage of your income so what you pay depends on your earnings. Up to a certain amount is taxed at the standard rate of 20%. Anything above this amount is chargeable at the higher rate of tax at 40% (2016). 



You are resident if:

  • You stay 183 days or more in a tax year
  • You’re present for 280 days or more in that tax year plus the previous tax year taken together with a minimum of 30 days in each year


If you’re resident and domicile in a tax year, you’ll be taxed on your worldwide income. For any year that you are non-resident and non-ordinarily resident, you’ll only get taxed on your Irish sourced income.



Double taxation agreements

You might be able to avoid paying tax on your income in Ireland or abroad if Ireland has a double taxation treaty with your home country.



A tax treaty will allow you:

  • To exempt the income from tax in one country or
  • Allow credit in one country for tax paid in the other



You may be due a tax refund if you:

  • Worked part of the year
  • Changed employment
  • Were made redundant
  • Had qualifying medical/dental expenses



To claim a refund you’ll need:

  • P60 from employer
  • PPS Number
  • Copy of your ID



Tax facts:






8. Japan

When you work in Japan, you’ll pay between 10% - 40% income tax, depending on what you earn. Japanese nationals and foreign residents who’ve registered with a local municipality are given a 12-digit number for tax purposes. If you live in Japan for one year or more you’ll be considered a resident. In this case, your worldwide income is subject to tax. However if you only stay for a short while, you are non-domicile and only liable for Japanese sourced income.



Pension fund

It’s likely that you’ll end up paying into a pension fund if you work in Japan. Luckily you can apply for a refund you leave the country! You have two years to claim it.

The Japanese Insurance Agency will take 20% in taxes off your pension refund.



To claim your tax back you’ll need:

  • Your Gensen-Choshu-Hyo (a statement of income and tax paid from your employer)
  • Official ID
  • Copy of your pension book or pension number



Tax facts:





9. Luxembourg

If you stay more than three months, you must register at the municipal administration in your area of residence. Luxembourg has one of the lowest tax rates in Europe and depending on your income, you’ll be taxed between 8%-35% on your income. Employees get a tax card each year stating their tax classes based on their personal status. Residents are taxed on worldwide income but non-residents are only taxed on their Luxembourg sourced income.



You are considered resident for tax purposes if:

  • You’re fiscally domiciled in Luxembourg and
  • Resident in Luxembourg for more than nine months per year



You could be due a refund if:

  • You had a part time or temporary job
  • You had more than one employer
  • You worked more than nine months
  • Your income was under the tax-free allowance
  • Your income was more than 75% of your annual worldwide income



To claim your tax back you’ll need:

  • Certificat de Remuneration/Certificat de Salaire ou de Pension
  • Copy of ID


Tax facts:





10. Netherlands

When you arrive, you should apply for a Citizen Service Number (burgerservicenummer or BSN) when you register at your local city or town hall. Employees pay up to 52% tax on their earnings. The amount you pay depends mostly on how much you earn.  The tax rates are the same for residents and non-residents but there are differences in entitlement to deductions, allowances and tax credits.


Tax deductions

As of 2015, you are entitled to deductible items, tax credits and the tax-free allowance only if you meet all three of the following:

  • You live in an EU country, Liechtenstein, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius or Saba, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland
  • You pay tax in the Netherlands on at least 90% of your worldwide income
  • You can submit a personal income statement from the tax authorities in your country of residence



You may be due a refund if:

  • You work part of the year
  • You had another job
  • You were granted the 30% ruling (you got a tax-free expense allowance of up to 30% of your salary from your employer)



To claim your tax back you’ll need:

  • Jaaropgaaf or Statement of Earnings
  • A copy of your ID



Tax facts:





11. New Zealand

The birthplace of commercial bungee jumping is also renowned for its stunning scenery and outdoor sports. It’s no wonder many working holidaymakers choose it over Australia.

If you want to work here, you should apply for an IRD number so your employer will tax you correctly. Without one, your income will be taxed at the highest rate.

Once you find a job, your employer will give you a Tax code declaration (IR330) form to fill in so they know how much tax to deduct from your wages.




What you’ll pay

You’ll probably pay between 10.5% and 38% tax on your income. One of the biggest factors affecting what you’ll pay is your residency status.

You’ll be considered non-resident for tax purposes if you stay for 183 days or less in any 12-month period. Non-residents are only taxed on their New Zealand sourced income.

However if you remain in the country more than 183 days you’ll become a tax resident from the date you arrived and be taxed on your worldwide income.

Fortunately New Zealand has a number of tax treaties in place to help residents of certain countries avoid double taxation, so you should find out if any apply to you when filing your tax return.




To claim your tax back you’ll need:

  • Summary of earnings or final payslip
  • A copy of your ID
  • IRD number



Tax Facts:

  • Tax year: April 1 – March 31
  • You can go back as far as 2004 for tax refunds
  • There is no payroll, healthcare, capital gains, social security, inheritance or state/local taxes
  • You can get a refund estimate with the New Zealand online tax calculator here





12. UK

You should apply for a National Insurance Number (NIN) when you arrive. This will ensure you are taxed correctly.


Taxes in the UK

If you stay in the UK for 183 days or more in a tax year, you are generally considered a resident. The ‘’Statutory ‘Residence Test’’ can also help you determine this.

Non-residents only pay tax on UK sourced income. Residents pay UK tax on their worldwide income. However the UK has double taxation agreements with a number of countries to prevent foreign workers from being taxed twice.

You can earn up to £11,000 without paying tax. This is known as the standard Personal Allowance.



You may be due a tax refund if:

  • You arrive in the middle of the tax year
  • You leave before the end of the tax year
  • You had more than one job



To claim your tax back you’ll need:

  • Documents (P45, P60, P11D)
  • Your ID



Tax facts:



Read the blog post: Your Guide to UK PAYE Tax





13. United States

When you arrive, you should apply for a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer identification Number so you can be taxed correctly. You can also apply for one online here.

If you’re on a working and travel programme in the US, you’ll typically be considered a non-resident alien and pay tax only on US sourced income. This income is subject to federal taxes and in many cases, state taxes.



You must to file a tax return by April 15 of the following year if you earned over:

  • 2016-$4050
  • 2015-$4000
  • 2014-$3950
  • 2013-$3900


If you earned under these amounts, you’ll be exempt from filing a return, however it’s still worth filing as you could end up being owed a tax refund. Millions of dollars are left unclaimed by J1 students each year so you should make sure you claim what you’re owed!



To claim your tax back you’ll need:

  • Final cumulative payslip or W2 Form/1042-S
  • Social security number/ITIN 



W2 form: A form from your employer stating your total earnings and amount of tax deducted (usually issued in February).

1042-S form: Students, teachers or trainees on a J or F visa get this instead of a W2. It outlines the scholarships, fellowships or grants and tax treaties.



Tax facts:

  • Tax year: Jan 1-December 31
  • Non-resident aliens should file Form 1040NR
  • You must claim your tax back  within 3 years
  • Get an estimate using the J1 online tax refund calculator



Claiming your tax back

If you want to claim tax back from any of these 13 countries you can do so by emailing us at info@taxback.com or by visiting the corresponding country page!

We offer free no-obligation refund estimates, then you can decide if you want to apply or not.


Any questions? Let us know below!

About The Author

Ciara Kennedy - Digital Content Writer @ Taxback.com

Ciara is our Digital Content Writer at Taxback.com. Since graduating in Journalism and Visual media, Ciara has worked in online marketing in Ireland and Australia and loves writing in all its forms.

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