Tag: backpacker

Posts Tagged ‘backpacker’

Backpacker’s Guide to Australian Tax

You’re a backpacker. That puts you somewhere between a tourist and a…resident?

Actually, yes. The Australian Tax Office may consider you an Australian resident for tax purposes under certain circumstances. As a backpacker, there are some other things you should know as well that could affect your tax return. We know you’re out and about so let’s not waste time getting down to the most frequently asked questions.


Are you a resident for tax purposes?

This sounds like a trick question. You don’t have a permanent residence here. Your family doesn’t necessarily live here. You left your dog with your mom when you came here. However, when it comes to taxes, residency is based on what you do while you’re touring the country. As a resident, you are able to lodge a tax return and claim tax back. If you are deemed a nonresident, then you are not eligible for a refund.

Generally speaking, the ATO considers you a resident for tax purposes if ANY of the following applies:

  • You have always lived in Australia.
  • You moved to Australia and live here permanently.
  • You have been in Australia for at least six months, and for most of the time, you have been working the same job and living at the same place.
  • You have been in Australia for more than half of the financial year, unless your usual home is overseas and you do not intend to live in Australia.

Read the rest of this entry »

How to Save $10 As a Backpacker in Australia

Are you a backpacker in Australia? Here’s how to save $10 with E-Lodge!

A wise man once said “Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.”

As a backpacker, your life is a model of these words.

You’re an explorer, adventurer and always ready for a new adventure. Most importantly, you have no qualms or fear of the unknown. We want to reward this fearless attitude.

How to Lodge an Australian Tax Return As a Non-Resident

While backpacking through Australia, you may have experienced a few must-do-Australian activities like;

  • surfing the Gold Coast
  • diving in the Great Barrier Reef
  • sailing to the Whitsundays

To cover the costs of these Australian adventures,  you may have been forced to work a few side jobs while backpacking. If so, you’ll need to report this income on an Australian tax return. Read the rest of this entry »

15 Backpacker Tax Tips

Quick tips to help you take care of your Australian tax return

A working holiday in Australia is full of so many wild, foreign, eye-popping experiences. The last thing you want to think about is taxes. But if you earn money in Australia you’ll have to. Taxes will likely be withheld from your wages and the Australian Taxation Office – known as the ATO – will likely require that you lodge (aka file) a tax return.

Don’t despair quite yet – there’s a good chance you could get tax back in the form of a nice refund. So here, in rapid-fire succession, are AustralianTax’s top 15 tax tips for navigating, well, Australian tax.

1) Claim your tax back – When you lodge, you can in all likelihood expect a refund. In fact, the average backpacker gets about $2,000. So don’t dodge lodging a return. Use a service like E-Lodge to make sure you get the most out of a foreign tax code.

2) Lodge = file – Just as Aussie’s insist they live in Oz and spend the weekends getting their wobbly boot on, they also have a special set of slang when it comes to taxes. Lodging a tax return is what the rest of the world would refer to as filing a tax return. Read the rest of this entry »

Lodging Your Australian Tax Return From Overseas

If visiting an accountant isn’t on your travel bucket list, then you’ve come to the right place!

Tax time is a stressful time for most of us… no matter where in the world we are. Beyond the pain of having to give away a big chunk of our money, we also are forced to figure out just how much of that money we have to give away. On top of that, being overseas doesn’t always lessen the burden. Fortunately, the option to lodge an Australian tax return online means that at least some of the problems have been removed. Lodging online means you can do it cheaper and also from wherever you are at the moment…well as long as there’s wifi!

Here are 4 things you should know about doing your Australian tax return online:

  • If you’ve lost your Notice of Assessment, you can get another one. Obviously the Notice of Assessment (NOA) is the most important component for anyone planning on doing an Australian tax return online. Without your NOA, there’s no way to know how much you’re owed (or how much you’re entitled to). The Australian Tax Office (ATO) will send one to you when your return has been assessed, but it can really easy to lose them. Fortunately, you can just contact the ATO and they will send you a new one shortly thereafter (they want their money, after all).


  • If you haven’t lodged last year’s taxes, you still can. Ok, you still can…with some work involved. The very first thing you should do is contact the ATO. The sooner you do this, the better. Because when you lodge an Australian tax return online, you need to know information about last year’s taxes–what you owed, what you were refunded, etc. Without that information it would be extremely difficult to do your current year taxes, so the sooner you get last year sorted out, the better.


  • If you use a tax service, you can claim that fee next year. If you have to use an agent to help you lodge your tax return (and, let’s face it: plenty of us do), then don’t worry about the fee. Although it is an out-of-pocket cost now, you can claim it next year on your tax return as a deduction (as long as you keep a receipt for how much it cost). This way the agent fee is less of a burden, even if you’re choosing to do your Australian tax return online for a lower fee.


  • If you’re an overseas resident/student/backpacker, you have different rules. The bad news is that you may have to lodge your Australian taxes online. The good news is that this sometimes means you’re getting money back. After all, you’ve been paying Australian taxes, and you’re entitled to get some of that back (and if you don’t, consider it a small fee for the great time you’ve had in our country). Unfortunately you can’t just follow the normal tax rules when lodging your Australian tax return online: there are different ones for foreign workers and students. You can find out what they are by contacting a tax agent who specialises in foreigners–or just contact the ATO.


Now let’s get those Australian tax returns lodged.

These four tips aren’t the be all or end all of information about doing an Australian tax return online, but we hope they’ll help you get started. And remember: the sooner you lodge your taxes, the sooner you get to stop thinking about taxes (and get to that travel bucket list you spent oh-so-much time writing up).



Updated 25 July, 2016.