Tax Information (TFN)


Tax Information Australia, including Tax File Number (TFN) & Tax Returns

Tax File Number – TFN

In order to work in Australia legally you will need to apply for a TFN (Tax File Number). A TFN is a unique number issued to you by the Inland Revenue, which allows you to;

  • Open a bank account
  • Pay the correct rate of tax
  • Change jobs easily
  • Apply for any applicable government benefits
  • Join a Superannuation fund
  • File a tax return
  • Claim a tax refund

You have to be in Australia to apply for a Tax File Number. But it doesn’t take too long to arrive.You can apply for your Tax File Number online if you’re a foreign passport holder, are in Australia and have a visa which allows you to work (417 or 462).To fill in the online application you’ll need

  • Your passport number or travel document
  • An Australian postal address the TFN can be sent to

You’ll receive your TFN within 28 days, although it’s often a lot quicker than that. The online application will only take you about 20 minutes complete.You don’t have to wait for your Tax File Number to arrive before starting any employment. Simply tell your employer that you’ve applied and are waiting for it. Apply online here

Tax Rates – Working Holiday Makers

As a working holiday maker (i.e. you have a 417 or 462 subclass visa) you will only pay 15% tax on earnings up to $37000 a year.Once you start work with a new employer give them a TFN declaration. This helps your employer tax you at the correct rate.Your employer must register themselves as an employer of a working holiday maker. If they’re not registered then you’ll be paying a rate of 32.5%! You should be able to claim this back though as an overpayment of tax.

Tax Return

Everybody that works in Australia pays tax on their income. Depending on your visa status; different tax rates will apply. Working holiday makers are liable to pay 15% tax on every dollar from $1 – $37000. The normal resident tax rates as per the ATO website will then apply on any income higher than $37000. Taxes are automatically deducted from your pay if you are working under a tax file number (TFN).When you leave Australia, or at the end of the financial year (June 30), you can file your tax return and claim any overpayment of tax. Plus you can also get your superannuation returned.

There are several ways for you to apply for your tax return
  • Use us! If you’re a JobSearch Member then speak to your local office.
  • Online During tax season you can apply for your tax return online here. Online tax return applications usually take 14 days.
  • Paper Return There’s a paper application that can be downloaded from here. Once you have completed the forms you can send them back to the address at the top of the form. This means a tax return can take longer, normally around 50 days.

My advice is to check out the online tax return form, unless you’re a Jobsearch member. If you find that it’s too complicated, because it can be confusing, then you should use a tax agent to help prices for working holiday makers are:

  • If refund is under $1100, the fee is $99 + HF of $19.80
  • If refund is over $1100, the fee is 9% of refund + HF (HF is 20% of the 9% fee for refund)

You can contact the Inland Revenue from within Australia on: 13 28 61 or from outside of Australia on: +61 2 6216 1111 The Inland Revenue is open from 8.30am – 4.45pm Monday to Friday.Read more about Tax Back Australia or you can find more information at be aware of recent changes to Tax for working holiday makers