Australian Personal Tax FAQ: Questions and Answers

Since I wrote the article Do Your Tax Return Online Using Free Etax Service I’ve received a lot of random questions from people about their tax returns.

The most popular questions I’ve answered are collected below, I hope they’re of use to you.

I’m not a tax agent or accountant but I try and keep up with Australian tax law as it applies to the average Australian individual personal tax return and therefore have been able to tell people where they can get further advice and in some cases give them some information myself from personal experience.

Etax related Questions

How can I use Etax, I don’t have an NOA

An NOA (notice of assessment) is a document you receive from the Tax Office when your tax return has been assessed.

It is an itemised account of the amount of tax that you owe on your taxable income, taking into account any tax offsets you are entitled to and contains other information, such as the amount of credit you have for tax you paid throughout the year.

If you’ve lost your NOA you can contact the ATO and ask for a copy to be sent to you.

This may be a stupid question, but Etax is too hard, please help a poor student :-)

There is no such thing as a stupid question! The stupid thing to do would be to not ask any questions

If you find Etax isn’t use friendly enough for you go to your local accountant and get them to do your return for you to make sure you don’t accidentally pay too much tax

I suggest going to a specialist accountant small business in your area rather than one of those tax agent places and make sure you ask for a student discount, chances are they’ll do your tax return for $50-$70 in the hope you’ll return next year. Also the tax return fee will be claimable on next years tax.

Do you still have a copy of last years etax installation file?

A new version of etax is made each year and expires early next year. If you didn’t do your tax return in time you should contact the ATO and your accountant to see how you can minimise penalties.

Does etax work on an Apple mac computer?

Since the ATO launched etax in 1997 it’s only been available for users of Microsoft Windows, much to the annoyance of taxpayers who use Apple Computer’s Mac OS X or Linux operating systems.

In 2007 the ATO finally contracted IBM to completely redesign eTax, add more features and make it available to anyone with Internet access.

Commissioner of Taxation Michael D’Ascenzo has said “We will test this with a small group of users in 2008, aiming to make it available more broadly in future years – pending the success of the trials.”

Etax says: “Your confirmed name does not match your name as shown on the Notice of Assessment”

Simple fix here: When the verification page asks you to re-enter (confirm) your given name, all that is required is for you to enter your first/christian/given name. So if your name is John Citizen, all you would re-enter is John

Other Tax Questions

Are Gifts Taxable?

For some reason the most popular questions asked in the comments of this page are in relation to gifts and whether or not they are taxable.

As I am not knowledgeable about this area I asked my accountant friend Andrew from Aussie Tax Time to provide some general guidance on the subject in a guest blog article : Australian Tax Tips: Are Gifts Taxable?

How long does it take for the ATO to pay refunds?

If you give them your bank details so they can deposit the money directly to you than it can take as short as 1 week from electronic lodgement of your tax return. The advertised length of time is roughly 2 weeks.

When do I have to do my tax return by?

You have from 1 July to 31 October to lodge your tax return unless it is prepared by a registered tax agent. If you’re going to be late contact the ATO.

My accountant has made tax suggestions that I think are dodgy?

Be very careful and research these suggestions with other accountants and by contacting the ATO

Individuals are not protected from penalties and interest incurred on a tax return for mistakes or tax fraud when it was the fault of bad advice from their tax agent.

Is bank interest taxable?

It definitely is. You should receive an interest statement for all your bank accounts every year after July 31st telling you how much interest you earnt from each account and you need to give this to your tax agent or fill it in the appropriate section of etax.

I’m disorganised, is there a free way to keep track of tax documents?

If you’re a disorganised person and find it hard to keep track of your income and expenses try using the free ATO Personal tax record keeper (PTRK) whose purpose is to help you record income, expenses and asset details, including details for capital gains tax, throughout the financial year.

Help! My boss won’t give me a group certificate

On the ATO site it states that your boss is required to supply a group certificate to employees by 14th July. However some employers are either lazy or incompetent and don’t give their employee’s group certificates.

My experience (and that of other people) is that ringing the ATO won’t help as they can’t be bothered forcing employers to give their employee’s group certificates.

Their standard advice seems to be: Use a copy of bank statements showing the after-tax salary paid to you and include a signed statutory declaration form and still lodge the return without the group certificate. Also its useful to give your accountant any payslips (especially the last one closest to the end of June) so they can see the amount of tax withheld during the year.

How can I contact the ATO from overseas?

The ATO has a special phone number for overseas callers and also a fax number.

What tax rules are there for international students/overseas residents working in Australia?

There are different tax rules, tax rates and superannuation rules for international students/overseas residents working in Australia, contact the ATO for details.

Is there any benefit or reason in giving your accountant your everyday bank account statements

All they really need regarding bank accounts for a personal tax return is a piece of paper like this example listing each bank account/term deposit you have:

eg: Bank Interest July 2006 – June 2007

Westpac : $307.32
Commonwealth Bank: $2.63
etc

Individual Income Tax Rates**

** = for Australian residents, not including Medicare levy. Not taking into account individually different tax offsets, tax deductible charitable donations etc.

Tax rates 2006-07
Taxable income Tax on this income
$0 – $6,000 Nil
$6,001 – $25,000 15c for each $1 over $6,000
$25,001 – $75,000 $2,850 plus 30c for each $1 over $25,000
$75,001 – $150,000 $17,850 plus 40c for each $1 over $75,000
Over $150,000 $47,850 plus 45c for each $1 over $150,000
Tax rates 2007-08
Taxable income Tax on this income
$0 – $6,000 Nil
$6,001 – $30,000 15c for each $1 over $6,000
$30,001 – $75,000 $3,600 plus 30c for each $1 over $30,000
$75,001 – $150,000 $17,100 plus 40c for each $1 over $75,000
Over $150,000 $47,100 plus 45c for each $1 over $150,000
Tax rates 2008-09
Taxable income Tax on this income
$0 – $6,000 Nil
$6,001 – $34,000 15c for each $1 over $6,000
$34,001 – $80,000 $4,200 plus 30c for each $1 over $34,000
$80,001 – $180,000 $18,000 plus 40c for each $1 over $80,000
Over $180,000 $58,000 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000
Tax rates 2009-10
Taxable income Tax on this income
$0 – $6,000 Nil
$6,001 – $35,000 15c for each $1 over $6,000
$35,001 – $80,000 $4,350 plus 30c for each $1 over $35,000
$80,001 – $180,000 $17,850 plus 38c for each $1 over $80,000
Over $180,000 $58,850 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000
Tax rates 2010-11
Taxable income Tax on this income
$0 – $6,000 Nil
$6,001 – $37,000 15c for each $1 over $6,000
$37,001 – $80,000 $4,650 plus 30c for each $1 over $37,000
$80,001 – $180,000 $17,550 plus 37c for each $1 over $80,000
Over $180,000 $54,550 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

I want to ask the Australian Tax Office (ATO) a question

ATO Personal tax enquiries line – 13 28 61
ATO Business tax enquiries – 13 28 66

Superannuation enquiries – 13 10 20
Tax Office Publications (Brochures) Ordering service – 1300 720 092

Contacting the ATO from overseas: +61 2 6216 1111 between 0800 – 1700 (Australian Eastern Standard Time or daylight-saving time)or fax us +61 2 6216 2830.

More Tax Help

The Australian Taxation Office’s FREE E-tax service lets you prepare your tax return and baby bonus claim electronically and lodge them online – Do Your Tax Return Online Using Free Etax Service

Basic Tax Tips Anyone Can Follow: Save Money, Pay Less Tax


111 comments on “Australian Personal Tax FAQ: Questions and Answers

  1. Hi, firstly may i wish y’all of the best wishes to all that visit this site. I live overseas currently but wish to understand the taxation that may imply to interest earn from my current saving account. i wish to gather such information and how is the interest earn taxed.

  2. I have a question. I went to an accountant last year 2007 he did my tax for the years 2006 to 2007. I actually owe them money this time round, When am i required to pay back the tax i owe by for that year? Thanking you in anticipation.

    EDITOR: That’s far too specific to answer online. Please contact your accountant

  3. Paul on said:

    Thanks for some great info!

    I submitted my tax return via Etax. Only thing is it was in November after the close off date. I was due a refund but am unsure if they will process it and I have not received a response. Should I resubmit the return in the new financial year or will they process it?

    EDITOR: I definitely suggest talking to an accountant about your 06/07 tax return. The ATO will probably be lenient if they owe you money but best to get professional advice anyway

  4. Dani on said:

    Hi

    I’m renting a lap top which I use 50% work, 50% school and personal use. Can I write off all or some of the monthly rental payment?

    Cheers Dani

  5. Stephen Pond on said:

    I have lost my notice of assessment (NOA) from last year and was wanting the details from last year

    EDITOR: If you’ve lost your NOA you can contact the ATO and ask for a copy to be sent to you.

  6. singh on said:

    Hi,
    I just bought a house in Australia and planning to get $50k as a gift from my parents in India. Is this money taxable?
    Thanks in Advance

  7. Nikhil on said:

    Hello,
    That was a really informative blog !
    I have a query.
    I was on a Work Permit (457)during the following periods :
    1)22-august-2007 to 02-october-2007.
    2)18-october-2007 to 11-january-2008.

    The above periods add upto 128 days.

    I have got my PAYG slips for the above mentioned periods.

    Now as per my understanding, as this is less than 6 months (180 days), I qualify as non-resident when filing for tax returns.

    But I am not too sure of this.

    So, could you please clarify : Whether I should file my tax-returns as a RESIDENT of AUSTRALIA or as a NON-RESIDENT of AUSTRALIA ?

    EDITOR: Contact the ATO to find out

  8. Hi I received 2 tax certificates and i lodged them not knowing that i had should have received 3 Tax certificates!!! Because the 2nd job i had i got though an agency which counts as a another Job meaning a 3rd Tax Certificate.
    I have received the tax certificate today from the agency. Can i still lodge that in? Is there a penalty for lodging in your Tax twice with diffrent certificates?
    Or a penalty for not lodging your entire Tax?

  9. Hi. Is there such a thing as a gift tax with the ATO? My mum gave my sister $130,000 and we weren’t sure whether it was taxable in anyway as it was a gift? Help.

  10. Michelle on said:

    Hi i went to an accountant in January to get tax returns done they were all finalised and paid for in March 2008. We signed the tax returns that the accountant gave us to sign and returned them to her. It is now August 2008 and she refuses to lodge our returns stating that she still doesn’t have paper work from me even though i have sent it in to her 3 times by regular post and once by registered post. Can she just choose not to lodge our signed tax returns, she also won’t return my calls anymore either i have let the Tax Agent board know and the NIA know and they say they will investigate. Can she legally not lodge our signed tax returns???? Please HELP

  11. I am a 56 year old male who is married and am financialy self reliant. I was bored at home so decided to get my Heavy Duty truck licience. I spent around $2000.00 on instructions, lessons and and test. I now have an owner operator who uses me to fill in for him for about 1 1/2 days a week using my ABN number. Can I claim back the cost of training. Can I deposit this money into a super fund. Maybe you have a better plan.

  12. Mate, I want to know the tax implication if my salary is paid in A$ in Australia but I am deputed by the Company to work stationed out of India. WIll my earning taxed at Australia and India both or do I have the option of paying tax in Australia or India?

  13. Help, I’ve lost one of my payment summaries (group certificates). What do I need to do?

    EDITOR: Ask your boss/pay roll or HR person for another copy of the group certificate

  14. Hi,

    I just went to have my tax return processed by an accountant and found out that my employer had not set up payments to the ATO for my hecs/help debt.

    When I signed on with the company and filled out my tax declaration form I made sure that I ticked the boxes necessary to permit the repayments from employer to the ATO on my behalf.

    Instead of getting a return i know have to pay the ATO $5000.

    I would like to know who is responsible. As I am not at fault, i think it should be my employer.

    Can you please offer some advice.

    Thanks
    Stoff

  15. Hi,

    I just want to know what a Accountant is suppose to hand back to you once they have done the paperwork for your tax return. Iam i suppose to get a copy of my group certificates and a summary of what they have done. I am just not happy with the return they have got for me and would like to show another accountant, is there any legislation about what paperwork i am allowed to ask them to hand over?

    Shan

  16. Melanie on said:

    My boss wont give me a group certificate. As you have already said in your blog that you can lodge a tax return without one using bank statements, but in my case my employer paid me in cash most of the time and was still duducting tax (aprox $200) a week from my wages. He also only issued me one payslip in the whole year i worked there (and that took a few months of nagging just to get that!) This was only at the beggining of the financial year so the tax paid then was almost next to nothing on the payslip i have. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have been emailing him daily since end of financial year the only reply i get is “almost finished them”. I have contacted the tax office and they said that i can lodge a tax return with bankstatements as well and they wont chase my employer up until after i lodge the tax return without it. Im in a catch 22. Any suggestions???

  17. alison on said:

    Dear Tax Adviser,

    I would like to ask 2 questions regarding income tax:

    1)If I want to buy a house and my parents would like to give me some money as a gift(from overseas), what is the maximum amount of money they can give me without a need to pay tax on it(here). Is there a limit on how many times they can give me money as a gift?

    2)I am planning to work on an overseas company, which has an International Tax Agreement with Australia. I am an Australian resident for tax purposes and I will work while I am living in Australia. My employment will last more than 91 days. Will I need to pay tax on this income and if yes how it will be calculated.

    Thank you for your time,

    Regards,
    Alison

  18. My wife has just recieved an inheritance and wishes to give 100,000.00 to our son. Are there any taxes payable by either party. the money is togointo a home purchase. We are on a disability pension. Thank you Tony

  19. I’m an Australian expat (living in Dubai), but I own a property in Australia which we rent out. Our rent doesn’t cover the interest on the mortgage, so I don’t think I’m making an income. (a loss yes).

    Do I need to complete tax returns? (I haven’t for 3 years … what should I do?)

    Mike

  20. Is gift tax payable in Australia? My daughter and her husband have been renting a house from me, and now I want to sell it, and give her a proportion of the rent she has paid over the years, so they can buy their own house. Will I have to pay gift tax (as well as CGT)?

  21. What is the maximum amount of money that I can receive as a gift before having to have to declare and pay tax on it?

  22. Caroline on said:

    If you live outside Australia for more then 5 years do you pay tax and how much on your bank interest in an Australian Bank Account. Thanking you.

  23. Johnno on said:

    Hi I have just won alot of money and would like to give a friend a house.

    Do I have to pay a gift tax?

    Or can I just buy the house in my friends name using my money and pay the usual stamp duty etc.

    The Amount I am looking at spending on the house is around $400,000

  24. Bodyline on said:

    What is the maximum amount of money that I can receive as a gift before having to have to declare and pay tax on it? and how much tax do I have to pay if the gift exceed the threshold? The gift is from my family member.

  25. hi, I wish to sell my home and buy 2 small units, 0ne for each of my sons, is there any gift tax involved…regards len

  26. hi look i just wanted to know if you recieve u lump sum from a relative do you inccur tax on it and if so how much??
    thankyou

  27. Margaret on said:

    My defacto is in partnership with his older brother in a manufacturing business for 25 yrs. I find it odd that his brother arranges my partners personal tax to be done with the business tax. There are some years that my partner does not sign anything. I have asked my partner how does his brother know what he has to claim when there is no communication between them prior to him having a piece of paper put in front of him and being told to sign it.

  28. Steve Jackson on said:

    I want to give my son $100000 to help him buy a house, will he have to pay tax on this?

  29. Can you tell me abount gift tax, eg what percentage is payable, how much can you receive without paying gift tax and over what period.

  30. Hey, I started work this year (June 2008) and was unemployed two years previous to that for teh 2006-2008 financial year, I guess my question is am i elgible for the Govt 950 worker package, since i dont have a tax return for 2007-2008 financial year?

    Im gettin mixed answers from people

    EDITOR: Ask Centrelink mate, they know all the rules for this cash handout

  31. My father is giffting money from overseas, so what tax i have to pay.

  32. I lost my group certificates for 07/08, what can I do to get another copy of this so I can lodge my tax return to get the government payout? (I earn less than $6000/year).

  33. westie on said:

    Very helpful website! Do you have any idea what rules/penalties apply to someone on PAYG who has not lodged a tax assessment for several years?

  34. William on said:

    Are the non-Australian citizen or non-PR Australian residents eligible for the 900 bonus ?

  35. hey, me and my partner have been living in australia for over a year now. he will be lodging a tax return soon and he also owes money to the new zealand government for fines and child support. Can the NZ government take his tax refund?

  36. Kathy Cunningham on said:

    Help! I lost my Group Certificate’s and am no longer in Australia – I need to file my Tax Return a.s.a.p.

    Offering good, no, GREAT karma in return for your two cents! =]

  37. Hi! Lotsa questions re paying tax on gifts …. 18 and 21 above for example … but no answers!

  38. I am a salaried professional and receive payment through payroll. However one component of the job is not listed in my Position description. This component is paid out as a success fee when I am able to successfully undertake and negotiate deals for the organization. Earlier this was being paid out to consultants.
    Can I request the company to make this success fee paid to my partnership which has an ABN number and a seperate TFN ? If so, what are the rules in the ATO that govern this ?

  39. Neerav Bhatt on said:

    EDITOR: For some reason the most popular questions asked in the comments of this page are in relation to gifts and whether or not they are taxable.

    As I am not knowledgeable about this area I asked my accountant friend Andrew from Aussie Tax Time to provide some general guidance on the subject in a guest blog article : Australian Tax Tips: Are Gifts Taxable?

  40. Andrew Jeffers on said:

    Dear Neerav,

    Thanks for the opportunity to help you out with the specific Tax question regarding Gifts.

    If any of your audience would like some more specific Tax questions answered then they can contact me on www.twitter.com/aussietaxtime via a direct message or info@aussietaxtime and mention your site and I will be happy to answer their questions.

    Andrew

  41. HELLO GUYS. I launched my returns a month ago through etax. but i still dint get returns back. they told that my file is under investigation. can any one give me clue what’s happeing
    thankyou

  42. Hi im trying to do my tax as any 18 year old is and am utterly confused main problem is my tax summary from one of my jobs states my tfn as 111111111 . obviously its not my tfn but im not sure wether it means my tax has been getting paid or i have to pay it to the tax office as tax any ideas

  43. alan barclay on said:

    can i claim back the gst i pay which is included in my land purchase and house purchase i intend to live in it
    alan

  44. HELLO GUYS. I launched my returns a month ago through etax. but i still dint get returns back. they told that my file is under investigation. can any one give me clue what’s happeing
    thankyou

  45. Hi could you answer a couple of questions for me. What is the difference between TAX FREE and NO TAX , should bank fees go under tax free or no tax.Thanks

  46. VINOD V NAGRECHA on said:

    Please give answer to comments Number 17 & 18 above.
    Thank You,
    With sincere regards.

  47. Andrew Jeffers on said:

    Hello Vinod

    Please have at look at my article http://www.bhatt.id.au/blog/australian-tax-tips-are-gifts-taxable/

    That should answer your query in relation to Q 17 & 18. If not email directly info@aussietaxtime.com

    Andrew Jeffers
    CEO Aussie Tax Time

  48. Hi

    I am curious about reducing CGTax. If i e.g. buy a house for 400K, spend 200K on renovating the home – it being my principal place of residence and then sell the house after 12 m of living there for e.g $1,000,000 (a little bit unrealistic i know) . Am i correct in saying that i would only be taxed on $200,000 at my tax rate at the time? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind Regards – James

  49. i have just started my tax with ABN and i’d like to know if i have to pay my tax yearly or quarterly. Can you help me with that question please. Just want to know if i am forced into paying quarterly or now. Thank you

  50. Andrew Jeffers on said:

    James,

    There is no CGT for your principal place of residence.

    Andrew Jeffers
    CEO-Aussie Tax Time

  51. Andrew Jeffers on said:

    David,

    You get a choice when you start your business as to whether you pay quarterly or monthly or even yearly.

    As you sales increase and perhaps your staff number increase the ATO will change your reporting frequency say from Yearly to Monthly and Monthly to quarterly.

    Andrew Jeffers
    CEO
    Aussie Tax Time
    www.aussietaxtime.com

  52. ron cole on said:

    my employer does not agree he needs to pay gst for contract work.
    what are the rules in NSW.

  53. If both parents have deceased and they have a tax debt, does this debt carry on to their children?

  54. Michael on said:

    Hi, I have an issue were I haven’t lodged tax in 2003 and 2005 all the others done, in those periods I did some partime work and both companies have disolved… I have no way of getting info for these years, what can I do?

    Many thanks

    Michael

  55. bruce on said:

    If I earn overseas and pay income tax on what I earn there what is the tax liability on that money back here in Australia?

  56. mark azarnikow on said:

    My mother wants to give her house to me and my brother is there any gift tax payable. The house is her own residence purchased approx 25 years ago.

  57. sooze on said:

    i worked in austalia for few year, now i want to get the tax return. How to file it? Right now i am in india?

  58. Murray on said:

    I am about to receive a gift cheque payment of $450,000 US from a African friend who is currently living overseas.
    1. What are the Australian tax laws for disclosure of this money and
    2. Do I have to pay tax ?. (I know this must sound crazy….)

    EDITOR: Contact an accountant. It sounds like a fraud/scam trick to me

  59. Peter Morrison on said:

    As a retired business person, my wife and I have our own Super Fund, previously added funds from our business. Have discussed with my accountant re ccanging from super fund to Pension fund. My question, what happens to imputed credits from my share portfolio as we have regular dividens and also interest coming forward from term deposits. What are the pros and cons going from Super Fund to Pension faze. What is recommended? I am past 70, my wife is also 70.

  60. Maria on said:

    I’m Australian and I moved overseas a few years ago to Germany. I order to avoid paying tax in both countries for a long long time, which would have been most of my income, I agreed that I was moving overseas “permanently” and said that I’m a non-resident of Australia now, which is true in the sense that I don’t live there.

    I found the explanation of these terms “resident” and “permanently” cryptic. How can you be a resident of Australia and not live there? Is that for people who own houses? I don’t own a house, or shares, or a car. (I just have a small savings account in Australia and they take about 40% of my interest as withholding tax because they don’t have my TFN. I left it that way because I didn’t want to pay too little tax and get in trouble.)

    Anyway, since I’ve said I moved overseas permanently does that mean I can never ever go back to Australia? If I do, what consequences will I face? Will I have to fill out lots of tax forms for all the years I was away?

  61. Tara on said:

    can I recieve a copy of my group certificate from the ATO?

    EDITOR: No. only your employer can give you a group certificate because they know what they paid you throughout the year

  62. jake on said:

    i am a kiwi who lived in brisbane for 6 months in 2008. Im hoping to go to my cousins wedding in melbourne at the end of this year, but am worried about the $2000 in tax i owe over there.. Will i be stopped at the gate if its not payed??

  63. Stephen on said:

    Hey everyone!

    I just received my PAYG payment summary – individual non-business statement. Actually I received two because I was working in two different jobs. The total gross payments of the two letters add up to $8000. I also notice the “Total Tax Withheld” for the two letters which are below $1700.

    Just wondering, do I receive the entire $1700? And just to add, I’ am a student and I was on Centerlink.

    Thanks!!

  64. Empoyed in a position that requires me to travel, I am paid 70cents per Km. As I have to purchase the fuel then claim for the kilometers I travel. Do I have to pay tax on the kilometer allowance I receive. Also do I have to keep a log book

  65. shelley on said:

    i owe money to the tax office ,will they automatically keep my refund.

  66. I was unable to lodge my tax return online because it asked for my home address. I no longer stay in Perth and the form didn’t have the option for overseas states as home address. So i couldn’t proceed further. Is it possible for my tax refund to be directly sent to the bank in my country? Any other option? What should i do? Please help

  67. mona on said:

    Hi, I am using eTax but having troubles completing my husbands income part as he didn’t receive all his PayG slips and therefore I can’t provide the exact amount he has earned. What should I do? Thanks

  68. Mallikarjun on said:

    Hello,
    I have a query.
    I was in Australia on a Work Permit (457)during the following periods :
    1)01-March-2010 to 03-June -2010.

    The above periods add 93 days.

    I have got my PAYG slips for the above mentioned periods.

    Now as per my understanding, as this is less than 6 months (180 days), I qualify as non-resident when filing for tax returns.
    My query is whether am able to recieve my tax return for the period i stayed in australia and if its ‘Yes’ then how much percentage i will get the returns

  69. Russell on said:

    How long roughly will it take for my tax return to be in my bank account?

    EDITOR: usually less than 14 days. If you’re lucky maybe a week

  70. I’m at school teacher and went overseas last christmas for 40 days on a german exchange program/excursion with 30+ of my pupils. The funding from the students covered the accommodation & transport costs for the teachers who went, so there were only few “out-of-pocket” costs associated with this trip for me. After reading “TD/2010 19″ from the ATO website, in particular the example points 18. and 19. (which coincidentally are for someone who travels to germany), I calculate that I would be allowed to claim up to $185/day for meals and $40/day for “incidentals” (without receipts, but with a travel diary at least) for every work-related day I was in Germany. I was with the kids for 30days and for the other 10 days we were by ourselves/could do what we wanted whilst the students were with host families (however we were still “On Call”)
    Is it true that I can claim 30days x ($185x$40) = $6750 for this trip as a “travel expense” (under section D2 of e-tax) without a single receipt (but with a travel diary/itinerary)?

    any confirmation is greatly appreciated!
    So, at

  71. oh and I forgot to add to the above… I would ask a tax specialist this but they all seem to want me to pay them for this advice. Any FREE advice is greatly appreciated!

  72. Hi mate,
    I’m an Irish national. I came to Australia on a working holiday visa 7 months ago. I have been working as an economic consultant with the same company for over four months and they are currently in the process of sponsoring me. I have rented a house here for the past 6 months and i intend to stay and apply for permanent residency in a few years. To my knowledge because of my intention to live and work in Australia, i am a resident for tax purposes. However, on my tax return i ticked ‘not an Australian resident for tax purposes’ as i thought (in my infinite wisdom)that it was based on citizenship. I have now received my income assessment and as i ticked the wrong box, i did not get a refund. I need to amend the form but am wondering, as it is a simple amendment to make, if their is a quicker way than waiting the estimated 8 weeks to get my return amended. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Cheers!

  73. Claiming Permanent Residency costs?

    Is it possible to claim the costs which occurred during the application for permanent residency? I used an agent and all together PR cost around $8K ($4K agent, $3K application itself and rest were IELTS test, etc.).
    Is there any section those costs can be claimed?
    Thanks for the info!

  74. Car Salary Sacrifice,

    I’m allocated a certain amount $$$ from my company though I require a 4 wheel drive because I travel regionally and sometimes have to drive on unsealed roads. I go over my company limit and have to salary sacrifice each pay. I know this is deducted before tax. My Question is. Can claim the amount or a portion I pay on my tax return?

  75. jerry kujawa on said:

    my mother wants to give me her house. Do I pay any tax on the gift ?

  76. Virginia on said:

    Can I buy a house (principle place of residence) in the name of my company. what are the advantages/ disadvantages to buying in my individual name?

  77. Andrew Jeffers on said:

    Hi There,

    I will try and anser some questions for people for the last few at least.

    Please remember this information is general and should not be considered actual specific advice.

    76. Virginia – You can buy a house in a company name but you will not get the principal place exemption. You do not Own it the company does. Also companies will not get the 50% redction of the CGT if the asset is held more than 12 months. Copanies taxed at 30%.

    75. Jerry – Have a look at our article on http://www.bhatt.id.au/blog/australian-tax-tips-are-gifts-taxable. It is also linked at the top of the page

    74. Shane – There are 4 ways to claim mv costs. Keep a log book and work out the business travel. You have to include any allowance paid in your return but then again you can claim your MV expenses.

    73. Phil – Not Likely. Funny i used to be the CFO for IELTS. Unless you work made you come here and made you get the visa then really cannot prove the cost was incurred in producing an income.

    72. David – Yes get a tax agent to do it for you.

    71. Matt – Yes , It seems you have read the Tax Pack and to be honest there is no mystery to it. However if you were supplied meals, travel, accomodation then you need to reduce you claim if you are claiming for those. See what the act says in relation to the country, your title and there you go. Free advice is as good as how much you pay for it. You get paid for teaching , I get paid for my knowledge as well but I do try and help people on a general basis hence why I respond to people on this blog.

    68. You are a non resident for tax purposes. You need to file a return and you may get some money back. Also lodge to get your super repaid.

    I hope this has helped.

    Andrew Jeffers
    CEO
    Aussie Tax Time
    www.aussietaxtime.com

    70.

  78. question,
    I am a non resident , i am currently earning salary in vietnam, i am paid 30% in vietnam which is taxed , i am also paid 70% off shore my contract says ” 70% paid NET” .

    Can i have the off shore amount paid direct to australia ?, and will i have pay tax on this when i return australia to live .

    or should i start an offshore account and leave money oversea’s.

    I also have a investment property in australia which pays me income , so i will lodge tax return for this tax year

  79. The Australian tax system is fascinating to many Canadian tax professionals, as it very similar, yet has its own nuances. I guess that’s part of being in the Commonwealth. I look forward to learning more about your country’s tax system.

  80. @Mallikarjun, you are an Non Resident for tax purposes. You need to lodge your tax return to see what you will get back as a refund./

    Cheers

    Zoey H

  81. Etax is easy , but for those who understand meaning of all the written stuff online and can fill forms easily. There are some people who dont even aware about these facilities or don’t know how to do it and can’t afford tax agents fees. There should be some kind of help for these people.

  82. How do I make sure that I do not incur tax debt because I have two jobs and I dont know whether my tax withholding is enough.

  83. Hi Andrew,
    Its March 2011.
    Due to personal reasons, I unfortunately have not yet lodged by 2009-2010 tax return for personal reasons. Are you able to tell me the penalty that the ATO will charge me once i do eventually process this in etax myself? I dont have an Accountant, i havent used one for many years because my returns are individual only and not complicated. I believe they would owe me some money but it is never usually more than say $300. I have seen some articles that suggest if i find an accountant, i might not be penalised but i would prefer to cop the fee if it is the same as accountant fee anway.

    Thank you
    Regards,
    AJ

  84. I haven’t had a job for many years as I was a stay at home mother and I took up a part time job and hadn’t lodged my return for a couple of years and when I did lodge it I accidently lodged one year as I had not made any income but I actually just found my group certificate saying that I had worked 5 months of that Fin year. Should I call and advise them or will I get in trouble? is there anyway they know that I worked that 5 months if I didn’t send in my group certificate

  85. Angela on said:

    I recently became an Australian citizen and would like to sell my property from a overseas, do i pay any tax once i bring the money to Australia and if so how is it calculated.

  86. Andrew on said:

    Hi,

    I would like your opinion on the following scenario for the FY:

    I work through my company ABC Pty Ltd where I am the sole director and I perform contract work through a labour hire company

    Contract 1:
    - $60k earned by the ‘COMPANY’ where
    - ‘I’ performed the work as a normal contractor
    - paid on a daily basis through a labour hire company

    Contract 2:
    - $30K earned by the ‘COMPANY’ for delivering software on a fixed price basis
    - software development work was subcontracted to a company in India and NOT completed by me

    * Do these 2 together pass the 80/20 test for the ‘COMPANY’?
    * Do these 2 together pass the unrelated client test for the ‘COMPANY’?

    Kind Regards

  87. I stared working for a company 2 months ago. I filled out one tax declaration form and started working. It is a resort, and my employer owns three resorts. I worked at one resort one day a week, another 2 days per week and the 3rd resort 1 day per week. I have now realised they are paying me 3 different payslips each week for each different resort, paying me under 3 different company names!!! To top that off, they have not been taking any tax (AT ALL) for any of my pay… what can i do? Becuase i only filled out one tax declaration form, and because I am working for the one employer (although they are paying me under 3 different company names) is it like i am working 3 jobs at once???

  88. Azam on said:

    Hi
    I work for a company as an employee and also I have a small company in which I am a director. How does the tax work if you are doing two jobs. Note, I recently started my company and so far in last 7 months, i have not earned anything.
    Thanks.

  89. Chloe on said:

    Hello,
    Today I received my group certificate from my previous job.
    The payment summary is for the year ended 30 june 2009
    Is it possible to still claim even though it’s 2 years old?

    Kind Regards

  90. Hannah on said:

    Hey
    found your site useing google..
    In 2009 tax return i missed claiming on a casual job i had and didnt declear 4000ish dollars and that had a tax amount of 685.00, they have sent me a letter saying if this is correct donot do anything and we will amend for you.
    My question is.. do they owe me tax back or am i going to get a tax bill oweing the goverment money?
    I dont want to be shocked in 30 days time as im not sure what the situation is..

    Hope to hear from you with some advice thanks

  91. Hi,

    I did some jobs with my ABN, and also some jobs as normal payroll, where the tax was already deducted. On my tax declaration which I have to submit until 30 June, do I have only to list the ABN work? Does the tax office then write me a bill how much tax I have to pay since I by now payed no taxes on the ABN work? Tax should include 10$ GST, and what other taxes? Is it sufficient just to list all bills I earned from my abn jobs? Though I am no resident, I now have 457 visa, and cannot cotinue ABN work any longer, but I will work another 1 year for my 457 sponsor.

  92. Mitch on said:

    I have never done a tax return before but should have done 2 by now, I’ve lost my group certificates for the previous those two, now I was wondering would my old employers still have a copy of the group certificates and can I still get Tex back from them??? Thank you

  93. Lenice Casey on said:

    My husband earns $85k a year and is wanting to salary sacrifice a $25k personal loan. Is this a good idea regarding FBT? Or would we be worse off?

  94. Jodie Sullivan on said:

    My husband and I earn almost the same amount give/take $2-4000. Who should claim the education fund and medical expenses excess?

  95. dave on said:

    I have over stayed my welcome in Australia,but I am going to leave soon. can I still claim my tax back?

  96. John Wilson on said:

    Dear Sir
    I have a tax debt of around $200k that the ATO is letting me pay off weekly by arrangement
    I have a month off in September and wish to go overseas
    Am I allowed to leave the country ??
    I have assetts and interets and family here
    I am definitely coming back

  97. john rega on said:

    My partners mother owns a property over 2 hectares and if she was to transfer the title into her name and dispose the ownership from her mother with no money transfered just documentation, how would the CGT be calculated,bearing in mind that the property was acquired in 2004,who would have to pay.My partner receives payments from centrelink as a carer for me so her taxable income is $0 at this point and has been for 2 years now.

  98. Laura on said:

    Hello! I am overseas until the end of the year, my group certificates will be sent to my old address in Australia. I’m wondering if the autofill function will update my income information or whether I do need my group certificates? I could get my old housemate to post them to me in South Korea but it will be a hassle.

    Also, do I need a notice of assessment? Is there another way that they can confirm my identity?

    Thankyou for any help someone might have!

  99. Chris on said:

    I have not lodged a tax return for 34 years. Originally I missed a couple and then got scarred they would fine me too much to catch them up. I would like to lodge my returns, I would imagine that the ATO would owe me money as I have been earning a fair amount of money and paid a lot of tax. What would you suggest and what kind of fines would you envisage? Thanks for your help, I have no idea what to do!!!!

  100. Simply on said:

    can i do my tax online if i dont have group certificates from both of my jobs

  101. Deakin on said:

    I had to re-lodge my tax return this year and its because i left off 1 of my group certificates, before they can perpare my tax return it will be sudjected to exacting audits to enure correctness.
    How many business days after re-lodging wil it take until i see the money in my bank account approxemately?

  102. Susannah on said:

    My friends has been employed for a council for a period of 16 years and has not been paid his long service leave ever! His payroll advisor asked him to produce 10 group certificates to prove he has worked for the council for this long. His problem now is that he hasn’t kept records of his group certificates, can the Taxation Department vouch for his employment with the council if he’s lodged his tax returns every single year?

  103. 1. I just moved to Australia from HK. I am still keeping HK shares with the HK account. The problem is that there is no tax on shares trading in HK and I never keep these old records on the detailed prices & costs when I purchased them. There are also bits & pieces like the same stocks purchased and sold at different units at different times, causing difficulties in tracing the prices of different units. So what can I do when I report on CGT now when I sell these shares.

    2. When I receive the dividends from these HK shares, what exchange rates should I use for tax purpose?

  104. Cheryl Johnson on said:

    If I won millions of dollars in a lottery and wanted to give each of my children/relatives a million each as a gift would I / or they have to pay tax on it.

  105. I am an Australian with Australian passport. Since 2007 I do not reside in Australia and live in Europe working with a salary. I pay tax in Europe. I do not use my Australian Bank Account for my salary. From July 2012 I will start working in Hong Kong, but my salaries will be deposited in an Australian Bank Account. Do I need to pay taxes on those moneys. Under which circumstances do I need to pay tax? I have not returned to Australia since 2007, and I will not return to Australia for work purposes. In September 2012 I will turn 60 years of age. Thanks

  106. Michaela on said:

    Hey, I will leave Australia on the 5. Mai, but only for 2 month. I will come back on the 11. July for my second year. Do I have to apply for my tax return before I fly home or can I do it when I’m back?

  107. Hannah on said:

    what do i do when i have received my group certificate from my employer?

  108. Susan Hayes on said:

    Hi, I work for a non profit organisation and have since April 2011, and as of February this year, my husband doesn’t work. I want us to put in separate tax returns. He is putting his in online and says he is going to put me as a dependant, but I am putting mine separately. He shouldn’t be putting me as a dependent but I don’t see why he is doing that as I am not his dependent. Should he?. I have been the only one working since February and he gets no unemployment.
    I want my tax return separate. Do I have to put him on my tax return, which is going to have done by a tax accountant. Can you please put some light on this?

  109. Hi,

    I am an Australian citizen and I have a very large investment held outside Australia that will trigger a capital gain some time in the future upon selling it. I was wondering, if I moved out of Australia and moved to the bahamas and became a permanent resident a few years before selling the asset, because the bahamas do not levy capital gains tax on assets held by permanent residents. Can i sell the asset make the profit without being subject to capital gains tax, stay in the bahamas until the gain is reinvested and than move back into Australia without triggering suspicion?

  110. Teresa on said:

    Our Company went into liquidation in August of 2012 and the liquidators employed some of us to keep the business going until the end of September 2012. Can you tell me when we should get our Group Certificates from them after leaving their service.

  111. ROSYLN on said:

    hello! I am desperately in need of your help. I lodged my tax return and the money has been issued by the ATO already. However, i haven’t received in my account yet and I just realized i missed claiming my return on one of the group certificates i had. the tax amount was for 100 dollars. i was wondering if i can lodge it again just for this group certificate i had missed. PLEASE GUIDE ME THROUGH THIS. what should be my steps to address this problem

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