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Perth Australia - Travel buddy

Travel Forums Travel Companions Perth Australia - Travel buddy

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11. Posted by Leannoneill (Budding Member, 4 posts) 17 Jun '13 16:24

Who did you get your visa with. I'm with visa first and I got the tax card a few weeks ago, it says taxback.com on it and its grey and white. I got my bank details a few weeks after a got approved for my visa..

12. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4394 posts) 18 Jun '13 02:00

Quoting Leannoneill

Who did you get your visa with. I'm with visa first and I got the tax card a few weeks ago, it says taxback.com on it and its grey and white. I got my bank details a few weeks after a got approved for my visa..

That doesn't sound like the actual Tax File Number to me; more like advertising for their service to get a tax refund. Or does it actually say "Tax File Number" on there anywhere, with some mention of ATO (Australian Taxation Office)? I guess it could still be possible that ATO allows third parties to apply for TFNs on behalf of other people before they're actually in the country, but if so, I do find that rather strange. (Especially since I'd expect ATO to still send the information to you directly.)
I've been reading their "tax saver pack" page, and there's a whole lot of almost but not quite misleading information on there. Stuff like "you’ll need a Tax File Number (TFN) or you will pay tax at the emergency rate of 48%" is technically accurate, but not actually a problem, as you'd always have arranged the TFN before you'd be paid for the first time anyway, and even if you hadn't, you would get this money back with a tax refund at the end of the year (which, by-the-by, is totally easy to do yourself, rather than paying them to do it).

Generally I recommend people to stay away from visafirst and other third party companies like that; getting a visa directly from the Australia Department of Immigration is just as easy, even faster, and definitely cheaper, and they won't upsell all kinds of unnecessary crap on you that you can do yourself for free, or don't need at all.

13. Posted by solodylan (Budding Member, 10 posts) 18 Jun '13 14:22

Quoting Leannoneill

Who did you get your visa with. I'm with visa first and I got the tax card a few weeks ago, it says taxback.com on it and its grey and white. I got my bank details a few weeks after a got approved for my visa..

I got mine with Visa first aswell, they are now telling me it will be more likely 3 weeks to get the TFN once you land in australia not 10 days flip sake. Bunch of kidders told me you can start working without it but have to pay the higher tax bracket until you get it - I think Not!!

14. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4394 posts) 19 Jun '13 04:01

Hah, nice! So they indeed only get you your actual TFN once you're in Australia. And because they're a middle man, it simply can't go faster than if you got one yourself, and that's what you pay them a premium for. :/

I've been thinking lately of a sticky thread to explicitly advice people not to use these services, but to just do everything themselves. Would you have noticed such a thread here (it'd only show on the Australia & New Zealand subforum; not on the default "all threads" view of the main forum), and would it've been on time for you to not go with them? Or did you already get your visa and things before ever finding these forums?

FWIW, those three weeks to get your TFN should by all rights be a worst case estimate. When you apply at ATO directly, it generally takes about 5-8 days for a TFN to come in, and I simply can't believe that visa first would have two weeks of overhead for sending the information on to you. Also, as long as you get your TFN before your first wages are paid, the company you work at should be able to just pay you at the low rate for your entire time there.

Finally, a note on getting tax back which might be useful: The vast majority of this comes from being able to "self-declare as a resident for tax purposes". Residents for tax purposes pay no taxes at all over the first 18k they make, and only 19% over the next 19k (as opposed to 32.5% over everything otherwise; those rates will probably be slightly different next year), and you are one if you live/behave like a resident (which visa you're on has no bearing on this). That means working for an extended stretch of time (ideally the largest part of the part of the tax year for which you're in Australia), and while doing that, staying in a share house rather than a hostel, and regularly going to the gym, movies, etc.
The company you'll work as will still withhold taxes at that 32.5%, since you can only determine if you behaved like a resident afterward, and so that's where the big tax back payouts come from. Again, you can get this money back trivially yourself; no need to use a third party service for it.

15. Posted by Rebecca1990 (Budding Member, 8 posts) 24 Jun '13 07:23

Hey i'm off to Perth around the same time. Flying from Manchester on my own so would be nice to meet some people whilst i'm out there :)

Rebecca

16. Posted by Haylee0132 (Budding Member, 38 posts) 4 Jul '13 16:16

I fly into Perth from thailand on my own around the 22nd September. Would be nice to travel/meet some fellow travellers :)

[ Edit: Edited on 04-Jul-2013, at 16:17 by Haylee0132 ]

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