If you’re a foreign worker and you’ve worked in Australia in the last ten years on a working holiday visa you could be in for a tax refund. Tax refund specialists in Australia are calling up anyone who worked in Australia in the last the years to check their filing obligations and tax refund entitlements. This is great news for foreign workers as it has been reported some are owed as much as 2,600 AUD.

In 2017 significant changes were introduced by the Australian government which meant that Irish workers on working holiday visas now have to pay higher tax rates in their earnings.

Eileen Devereux, Commercial Director at www.taxback.com explained,

“Australia’s tax year ends on June 30th, at which point anyone who has worked in Australia the previous year needs to file a return. In light of this, we thought that this would be an opportune time to remind people not only of their filing obligations, but of their potential refund entitlements.”

This date is significant as many foreign workers are unaware that they are obliged legally to file a tax return to Australian tax authorities and the end of the tax year.

Under the system that the Government implemented before those who came on a working holiday visa for 6 months or more would be considered Australian residents for tax purposes. This means they could claim a tax-free threshold of up to 18,300 AUD and they would pay tax of 19% on the income earned between 18,201 AUD and 37,000 AUD – this left large tax refunds available to Irish workers in Australia. As off January 2017 those on a working holiday visa are no longer considered residents for tax purposes regardless of how long they have spent in Australia, so now they must pay 15% tax.

Workers can also claim back their Superannuation funds which was introduced by the government as a way of saving for retirement. All workers who are over 18 and earn more than 450 AUD are obligated to put 9.5% of their earnings into a super fund which the employer does on there behalf. Anyone on a working visa and is leaving the country has a right to claim this superannuation back.


Here are three primary ways people could find themselves claiming a tax refund from the Australian government:

  • Workers who were employed in Australia from 2008-2016 can be eligible fro the superannuation refund.
  • The recent tax changes were not retrospectively introduced, meaning anyone who worked in Australia in the 9 years prior to the changes (2008-2016), and has since returned home could still be eligible for tax rebates based on the old regime and the historic rates of tax.
  • Any workers who have been working since January 2017 may be legible for a tax refund for several reasons such as overplaying tax and emergency tax.