helps secure landmark decision against Australian ‘backpacker tax’

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Following an appeal by the ATO, is delighted to announce that the Australian High Court has today reaffirmed a landmark court ruling from October 2019 which stated that the ‘Backpacker Tax’ cannot be levied on citizens from certain foreign countries.

This ruling is likely to have a significant impact on how backpackers are taxed in Australia in the future.

What is the Backpacker Tax?

Introduced in January 2017, the controversial tax removed the tax-free threshold of $18,200 from Backpackers who were in Australia on a 417 or 462 Working Holiday Visa.

Instead, the tax-free threshold was replaced by a 15% tax rate on all income earned up to $37,000.

A higher tax rate also applied on amounts earned above $37,000.

In short, backpackers were charged higher tax rates than Australian residents.

Following the introduction of the Backpacker Tax, Australia saw a decline in backpacker numbers, causing difficulties for many regional farms and businesses needing seasonal staff.

What does this ruling mean for Backpackers?

If you visited Australia as a working holidaymaker between 2017 – 2020, it’s highly likely that you will be entitled to a significant tax refund as a result of this case!

The average Australian tax refund is $2,600, so it’s definitely worth checking out what you might be due.

Put simply, if you think you have been affected by the Backpacker Tax, you should apply for your Australian tax refund.

See here for more info.

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Liam varley

Vice President - Cyber security - State Street

Liam is an experienced Cyber Security Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and security industry. Skilled in Incident Response, People Management, Talent Development and Process improvement. Strong SOC and Talent Management experience with a MSc in Computing focused on Applied Cyber Security from Technological University Dublin. While also holding certs in GIAC SANs Incident handler (GCIH) & Cyber Security Leadership from the Professional development academy.

liam varley