Tax Return | What you need to know

Check the answers for the most common doubts about tax return

As the end of the financial year in Australia arrived, it is time to lodge your tax return.

We know that it is already difficult to understand the system of a tax return by itself since it has different procedures in different countries.

However, to make this process easier for international students living in Australia, we gathered some tips and common questions below to make you more informed about it.

What is the tax return?

The system of restitution is different in Australia. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is responsible for administrating the taxation system in the country.

A tax return is basically a form that you have to fill declaring your incomes and expenses from the previous financial year.

If you have worked in Australia using your TFN (Tax File Number) or ABN (Australian Business Number), you need to fill the form.

Based on the information provided on this form, you will receive the total or partial amount of your tax refund, or pay the required taxes to the government.

In Australia, the financial year starts on 1 July and ends on 30 June of the next year.

How can I apply my tax return?

To apply your tax return, you need to have access to your Payment Summary. Your employer is responsible for sending the correct information directly to ATO until 31 July.

Also, it is possible to check this information in your myGOV account.

You can either apply online by yourself or hire an accountant to make the service for you. It is highly recommended that you hire a professional accountant to avoid any possible mistakes.

Besides, it is mandatory to apply your tax return, especially if you are willing to apply for a different visa in the future or even permanent residency.

The applications are accepted from 30 June until 31 October of the current year. To know more, access the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website here.

How does the restitution system work in Australia?

Like in most countries, the more you earn, the more taxes you pay.

In Australia, annual incomes of AUD 18,200 are exempted.

Check the chart below for more information regarding residents for tax purposes during the financial year of 2019/2020:

Source: Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

When will I receive my tax refund?

Generally, it takes 2 weeks to receive your tax refund.

Time may vary depending on the circumstances and you can check the progress and result of your application through your myGOV account.

I am not in Australia anymore. Do I still need to apply for the tax return? 

If you have worked for less than one year, you are still eligible to apply. In this case, you will need to provide the date that you left Australia and the period of time that you worked here.

Moreover, you can check with your accountant about getting your Superannuation back. Superannuation is the retirement fund dedicated to who has worked in Australia and you can only get the restitution after have left the country.

How can I find a tax agent?

We recommend COPE Accountants for an easy tax return. They have offices in Brisbane and Sunshine Coast.

For those who are living in Sydney and Adelaide, there is Calais Accounting. Both of the companies have Brazilians in their teams to make the communication easier.

Important reminder: At this time of the year, it is common to see many scams involving the ATO and the Department of Home Affairs. Over 2,000 reports have been made so far. The scammers usually request personal details and claim that tax fraud has been committed in the victim’s name. We strongly advise you to never give any personal information to unknown people.

For more information about the scams and how to report them, click on the Scamwatch website here.

Follow these tips and have a hassle-free end of financial year! ✌️

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