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‘Backpacker’ tax changes

Monday, January 30, 2017

A package of four Bills was introduced on 12 October 2016 in relation to a range of issues for working holiday makers including changes to tax rates and the treatment of departing Australia superannuation payments.

While three of the Bills have passed through Parliament and are waiting on Royal Assent, the Income Tax Rates Amendment (Working Holiday Maker Reform) Bill 2016 did not originally pass through the Senate and has moved back to the House of Representatives – and now is waiting to go back to the Senate. One of the main features of the Bill was a 19% tax rate that would apply to working holiday makers for the first $37,000 of taxable income regardless of their residency stats.

However, it appears that a compromise has been made to reduce the rate to 15%. The new tax rates are intended to apply from 1 January 2017.

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