It is that time of year again where those living and working in Australia are required to lodge a tax return. We have answered a few questions below that will hopefully make this a stress free time for you. And as an international student, chances are you will get money back due to the limited work hours you are allowed to do on a student visa, which should keep you under the tax-free threshold ($18,200).
Q. DO I HAVE TO LODGE A TAX RETURN?
If you have been working and earning money in Australia, then yes you will have to lodge a tax return.
There are some circumstances which might mean you do not have to lodge a tax return. To find out what these are you will need to check with the ATO (Australian Tax Office).
Q. WHEN DO I HAVE TO LODGE MY TAX RETURN?
A. 1 July – 31 October is the time period in which individuals can lodge tax returns.
Q. HOW DO I LODGE A TAX RETURN?
The quickest, easiest way is to lodge your return online at myTax through the ATO website. You’ll be prompted to create a myGov account and link it to the ATO. Then just follow the instructions to fill out your return online.
You can also:
- Lodge with a registered tax agent. A list of registered tax agents is available on the Tax Practitioners Board website. * Make sure you only use a REGISTERED agent!*
- Lodge a paper tax return.
- Use the Tax Help program – this is a program run by trained volunteers to assist people on low incomes to do their tax returns. Check here to see if you’re eligible.
Q. WHAT WILL I NEED?
- Your tax file number (TFN) If you don’t have one please read the information on the ATO website on how to get one.
- A photo ID (passport or Australian driving licence)
- Your PAYG Payment Summaries.
After 30 June your employers should provide you with payment summaries. These provide details of the amount you’ve earned and the amount you’ve been taxed. You’ll use this information to fill out your tax form. Your employer might send you the PAYG summary in the mail or provide it for you online. Employers should give these to their employees by 14 July.
Q. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
If you lodge your tax return online, you’ll most likely get your refund in about 2 weeks. By mail, it will take about 6 weeks.
If you still have more questions about your tax return the The ATO website is the number one place to go with questions about tax. Your university’s student or financial services might also offer advice or help with your tax.