Backpackers Tax Refund

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If you are a backpacker or student, in order to claim your tax back, you must first qualify to be an  AUSTRALIAN RESIDENT FOR TAX PURPOSES.

Have You Been In Australia Or Plan To Stay In Australia For 6 Months?

If so, even if you are visiting Australia on a temporary visa, then you qualify to be an Australian Resident for INCOME TAX PURPOSES (please note that Residency for Immigration purposes differs to Residency for Income Tax purposes).

In order for backpackers or students to get a tax refund, they have to lodge an income tax return. But there is some information we need to prepare it.

Information required:

  • Copies of Group Certificates/PAYG Payment Summaries/Statement of earnings/Final Pay Slips from your current/previous employer(s)
  • Details of work related expenses relating to your employment within Australia
Most tax agents can prepare tax returns for backpackers and students long distance, either by phone, fax, email or online tax return service.

How Long Does It Take?

  • For backpackers or students lodging their income tax return for the current year, tax refunds will take 7-14 days
  • If you are lodging your final income tax return (because you are leaving Australia), the process can take up to 6 weeks (The reason for this time frame is due to the fact that early requests from tax refunds are lodged by paper, and take longer to be processed by the tax office).

What If I’m Missing Any Documents?

If you are missing any PAYG Payment Summaries, we can get those documents for you at no extra cost. Just make sure you supply as much information about ALL your employers, including name, ABN, address phone cumber, contact person etc.

Examples Of Work Related Expenses

Keep all your receipts for any work related expenses incurred during employment. E.g., Union Fees; RSA/RCG; Green Card Courses; Safety Equipment (safety boots, high visibility vest, etc); Stationary; Tools; Travel records between jobs and work sites; Uniform and Laundry receipt.

You can search this blog for various posts on tax calculators, tax tips and claiming tax deductions for backpackers and students.

For help with your eTax return see our eTax Return Checklist.

Web Based Tax Return App:

The ATO's E-tax download requires installation of government software. offers a fast & easy online service and no software downloads, making it easy to complete your annual tax return online.

Our Web Based Tax Return App will step you through all the necessary questions to increase your  tax refund estimate and take into account all relevant tax deductions and tax offsets. Try it now. Its FREE to get started! 

Copyright 2014. My Tax Zone.