Ausralian Working Holidays

The amount of tax your employer needs to withhold depends upon whether you are considered a Resident or Non Resident for Income Taxation purposes. It will also effect what you can claim as a deduction, your refund, and your eligibility for Medicare.

There is No Simple Answer to the question are you a Resident or Non Resident for Income Tax Purposes. The Taxation Office uses a number of tests outlined below:

183 Day Test

Under this test, if you are actually present and working in Australia for more than 183 days in the income taxation year, June 30th to 1st July, you meet the first test that the Taxation Office applies.

Note 183 Days applies to Income Taxation Year NOT Calendar Year.

Behavior Whilst in Australia

The second test, "the reside test" requires you to display behavior over a period of time that is consistent with you residing here, such as degree of continuity, routine or habit.

Therefore the period of time that you spend in Australia is not, by itself, decisive in determining your residency status.

If your behavior is more consistent with you being here on holiday rather than work, you will not be considered a resident for taxation purposes even if you meet the 183 day test.

In residency cases, your situation is considered by having regard to all the facts and circumstances that are relevant. No single factor is likely to be decisive, and many will be interrelated. These include intention or purpose of presence, family, employment, maintenance and location of assets, social and living arrangements.

Tax File Number (TFN)

In order to work in Australia you must have a TFN. The Taxation Office has 28 days to issue your TFN from the time of lodgment of the application. They will check your application against your visa after you arrive in Australia. So the quicker you can lodge your application the better, if you want to work.

Payment Summary

If you work in Australia your employer must issue you with a Payment Summary or Group Certificate as it is sometimes called, setting out the net amount of wages paid and the amount of tax deducted. However legally they do not have to issue this until 14 days after the end of the financial year. There is nothing legally to prevent them from issuing the payment summary when you leave an employer, but they are not legally obliged to do so. Some employers will some won't. If they won't you need to leave them a forwarding address.


The employer must pay 9% of your ordinary time earnings if you earn more that $450.00 AUD per month before tax. Most employers prefer you to use their Superannuation Fund for convenience, if they employ more that one employee.

Legally you have the right to nominate your own fund, but it is usually easier to use the employers preferred fund. You can claim this money back when you leave Australia permanently.


It is recommended that you open an Australian Bank account upon arrival. This is a requirement of most employers and it will also form part of the evidence in determining your residency status.

If you have been paid a salary or wage in Australia you are required by Law to Lodge a Taxation Return Before Leaving Australia.

If you do not it will effect your ability to re-enter the country.


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