Pay rates, opening a bank account, income tax and superannuation

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What you need to know about pay rates, opening a bank account, income tax and superannuation

Money is generally the key factor as to why you want to work in Australia. There are a few key things you should know about this including:

What are the pay rates for certain types of jobs in Australia?

Do I need to open a bank account if I want to work?

Do working holidaymaker's have to pay income tax?

Do working holidaymaker's have to lodge an income tax return?

What is a tax file number and do I need one?

Am I entitled to claim my income tax back when I leave Australia?

Do working holidaymaker's make payments towards superannuation?

Am I entitled to claim my superannuation back when I leave Australia?

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Pay ratesAustralian pay rates

Below is a general guide to what you may earn in certain jobs working in Australia.

  • Accountancy / book keeping - approximately $25 to $30 an hour

  • Au Pair / Childcare - these could be live in roles or by the hour. If they were 'live-in' you would be supplied with accommodation and usually food and paid around $500 per week. If it is by the hour, pay rates could range from $15 to $20 per hour.

  • Bar staff / Waiting / Hospitality staff - around $15 - $20 an hour plus tips. Some places may include accommodation and meals and pay by the week, which could be from $200 - $300 a week.

  • Harvest work / Fruit picking - this varies depending if the employer pays by hour or by the amount of bins, buckets or containers filled (which is the usual form of payment). If you work hard and get quick at doing the job you could earn up to $1000 a week. If you are fairly slow, it may only be around $400 a week.

  • Nursing / Healthcare - there is usually a reasonable demand for nurses in Australia and you can expect to earn anything from $25 - $50 per hour.

  • Office / Administration - approximately $18 to $25 an hour depending on the role.

  • Retail Sales Assistant - approximately $15 to $20 an hour.

  • Sales / Promotional work - these jobs could be base pay plus commission or commission only (be wary of commission only roles claiming you'll earn considerable money). Base rates are generally around $15 to $18 an hour.

  • Telemarketing - are often a small base wage with commission on top. If you are a good sales person you could earn over $1000 per week. Be prepared for hard work and lots of knock backs, as a lot of Australian's do not like being bothered by telemarketers.

  • Trades, Labour & Construction - this depends on your skill level, experience and demand for workers. It could range from around $19 to $30 an hour.

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Bank accountOpening a bank account

In you are planning to work while you are travelling around Australia, most income including salary or wages are paid directly into a bank account.

You should open a bank account within six weeks of your arrival, as you usually need only your passport as identification. After six weeks you will need extra identification to open an account.

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TaxInformation about income tax

 

Do working holidaymaker's have to pay income tax?

Yes - Employers must deduct and make income tax payments for the employee while employed by their business.

You would generally be classed as a non-resident for tax purposes, which means you will pay income tax at non-concessional rates on all salary and wage income you earn in Australia.

For more information about the income tax rates that apply to both residents and non-residents, refer to Individual income tax rates on the Australian Taxation Office website.

 

Do working holidaymaker's have to lodge an income tax return?

Most working holidaymaker's who visit Australia for less than six months are not Australian residents for tax purposes. However, if you have been paid a salary or wages in Australia, you must lodge an income tax return. This should be done before the 31st of October each year.

It can take up to six weeks to process your income tax return, so make sure you write an address on your income tax return where they can send your notice of assessment.

If you are leaving Australia before the end of the tax year (30th of June), refer to Leaving Australia - lodging your return to find out whether you can lodge your income tax return before you leave.

Note: To lodge an income tax return you will need a Group Certificate (this is a document that summarises your earnings for the financial year from a particular employer). If you need to get this before the end of the financial year (30th of June), you will need to give your employer 14 days notice.

© Commonwealth of Australia 2006, Australian Taxation Office

 

 

What is a tax file number and do I need one?

If you intend to earn money in Australia, you will need a tax file number (TFN). This is a unique number the Australian Government issues to individuals and organisations for identification and record-keeping purposes. You will also need a tax file number is you intend to lodge an income tax return. For more information about tax file numbers and how to apply online for a tax file number, visit the Australian Taxation Office website.

© Commonwealth of Australia 2006, Australian Taxation Office

 

 

Am I entitled to claim my income tax back when I leave Australia?

If you have been working in Australia, you should have been paying tax on your earnings. When you leave Australia, you may be entitled to a tax refund from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).  You can either lodge a return yourself via the Australian Taxation Office website or get it done by a professional tax agent.

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SuperannuationInformation about superannuation

 

Do working holidaymaker's have to make payments towards superannuation?

Superannuation is the amount deducted regularly from employees' incomes, which goes towards a contributory pension scheme.

If you are working in Australia, your employer will generally contribute an amount equal to certain percentage of your wage into a superannuation account for you.

© Commonwealth of Australia 2006, Australian Taxation Office

 

 

Am I entitled to claim my superannuation back when I leave Australia?

If you have worked in Australia as a temporary resident you may be eligible to claim your superannuation benefits through the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) scheme.

The DASP scheme is administered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). For more information about the DASP scheme, including eligibility, procedures for lodging a claim for your superannuation benefits and advice about unclaimed monies, visit the Australian Taxation Office website.

Disclaimer: Please note the above information is intended for a guide only. Tax / superannuation information changes regularly and we are not Tax agents so for the most up to date advice please contact the Australian Taxation office.

© Commonwealth of Australia 2006, Department of Immigration and Citizenship