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Help Centre / FAQ (TAX)

You asked the questions, and here are the answers

1. Who is the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)


The Australian Taxation Office (aka, Tax Office, ATO) is the Australian Government statutory agency and the principal revenue collection body for the Australian Government. The ATO has responsibility for administering the Australian federal taxation system and superannuation legislation. Responsibility for the operations of the ATO are within the portfolio of the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia.


2. What is a Tax File Number (TFN)


A Tax File Number (or TFN) is a 9 digit number that is issued to you on request by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). The number is unique and identifies you to the ATO. In order to work in Australia you must have a Tax File Number. Your Tax File Number is yours for life.

Click here to apply for a TFN.


3. What is an Australian Business Number (ABN)?


An Australian Business Number (or ABN) is an 11 digit number that is issued to you upon request by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Like a TFN this number is unique and identifies your business to the ATO. Whilst working in Australia as a sub contractor (farming, labouring, etc) you may be required by your employer to obtain an ABN.

Click here to apply for an ABN


4. Am I a resident or non resident for tax purposes?


You may be deemed as a resident for income tax purposes if you have been working and living in one place in Australia for 6 months, or if you plan/intend to stay working and living in once place in Australia for 6 months. You behaviour (living and working) will be used in determining your residency status.

For more information, visit our Residency Page


5. Do I need to lodge an income tax return?


Yes. Australian Tax Law requires any person, whether a permanent or temporary resident, who has worked in Australia to lodge an income tax return.


6. How can I lodge my income tax return with Backpacker Tax Refunds?


Its easy.

To apply with our paper form, simply visit our Tax Back – Paper Application page, download the tax form for the relevant tax year, print it out, fill it in and sign it, collect your PAYG Payment Summaries (or final payslips) from each employer and send the lot to our office by either scan/email, post or fax.

To apply with our online form, simply visit our Tax Back – Online Application page, follow the steps and complete the online form.

Once we receive your completed forms we will contact you to let you know and we will start preparing your income tax return immediately.


7. What is your fee?


Our fee for preparing and lodging your income tax return is calculated based on the TAX BACK you receive. Our fee is 9.9% of your refund to a maximum capped fee of $165.00 (including GST).

For example, if your TAX BACK is AUD $1,000, then our fee will be $99.00(which is 9.9% of $1,000), however, if your TAX BACK is AUD $1,666.67 or more, then our fee will be $165.00(capped fee of $165.00).

For more information, visit our detailed page on our fees.


8. How much tax will I get back?


The amount of your TAX BACK will depend on your individual circumstances. Things taken into account when determining a income TAX BACK are your gross income, the amount of tax deducted from your income, any allowances withheld and whether or not you have any work related expenses.

To get a free quote phone our office now on 02 8065 5668 or send through a request for a free quote through our website


9. When is the Financial Year / Tax Year?


This is the period from the 1st July to the 30th June


10. What is a PAYG payment summary?


A PAYG Payment Summary (formerly called a Group Certificate) is a document you receive from your employer once you either finish working for them or once the financial year ends. It includes details of your gross earnings for the full or part financial year, shows how much tax was withheld and includes details of any allowances received from your employer. The PAYG Payment Summary also includes your name, Tax File Number, your employers name and their ABN.


11. What is a Statement of Earnings?


A statement of earnings is a document provided by your employer. This is normally provided as an interim measure until your PAYG Payment Summary is issued. A statement of earnings is produced on letter head from your employer and details the same information as a PAYG Payment Summary would. It includes your name, Tax File Number, Gross earnings, tax withheld and allowances.


12. What if I don’t have a PAYG Payment Summary/Statement of Earnings?


We understand that whilst you are travelling it will be easy to misplace your documents. Just keep a record of the phone numbers of your employers and we will retrieve these documents for you.


13. Is there a fee to retrieve any lost documents?


Yes, we charge a fee of $5.00 per document to chase any missing PAYG Summaries


14. What are examples of work related expenses?


Examples include 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 receipts.

Keep copies of all your receipts for any work related expenses incurred during employment. They will come in handy at tax time.


15. How long will it take to receive my TAX BACK?


If you are lodging your income tax return for previous tax years and we have all your documents, once lodged your TAX BACK will take approximately 2-weeks.

If you are lodging your final income tax return (because you are leaving Australia), and we have all your documents, once lodged the process can take approximately 8 weeks (The reason for this time frame is due to the fact that early requests for TAX BACK are lodged by paper, and take longer to be processed by the tax office). If we have to chase any missing documents your TAX BACK may take longer.

The above is based on the ATO Assessment Service Standard. For more information on the ATO’s Service Standard, please visit


16. How will I know what's happening with my TAX BACK?


We will keep you up to date throughout on our progress. Once your income tax return is lodged we will advise you so that you know how long It’s going to take to get your TAX BACK. Once your TAX BACK is received we will transfer this as soon as its possible and we will email you/call you to let you know. If you need an update you can call us on 02 8065 5668 or email us at


17. Is there a fee to transfer my TAX BACK into my Australian Bank Account?


No, there is no fee to transfer your TAX BACK to your Australian Bank Account.

We will inform you via email when your TAX BACK is deposited into your bank account, so that you can look out for it. Generally, it takes around 2 business days for the funds to be available to you once transferred.


18. Is there a fee to transfer my TAX BACK into my Overseas/Foreign Bank Account?


Yes, there will be a $35 fee charged for any TAX BACK deposited into your overseas bank account. This fee will be deducted directly from your TAX BACK (this is the only bank fee charged by our bank. Please confirm with your nominated overseas/foreign bank whether or not they charge a fee to accept a transfer from an Australian Bank Account, as this is beyond our control).

We will inform you via email when your TAX BACK is deposited into your bank account, so that you can look out for it. Generally, the time it takes for your funds to be available depends on your individual bank.