tax and residency

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific tax and residency

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1. Posted by hels82 (Full Member 96 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi quick question. Iv been in Melbourne since Feb, i have lived in a shared house pretty much since arrival and have been in the same job (my 6 months finishes in a few weeks). My question is can I be considered a resident for tax purposes? Im pretty sure that iv heard that there is a loophole because the term resident is not defined in tax law here so the fact iv showed intent to be a resident here-by staying in same place then i can be considered a resident and get the tax benefits?

Any thoughts?


2. Posted by queeny (Budding Member 32 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Ah, this is something I can help with.......

I decided to do my tax myself as most of the companies that do it rip you off. My tax is almost $5k so I didn't fancy handing over $500...

It is a self assessment system they operate so if you note yourself as resident they don't really check it. You don't have to prove it etc. They take your word for it.

As I wasn't aware of this and noted myself as non-resident I got the grand total of $54 back.... GUTTED! I now have to write a letter in asking for re-assessment and tell them that I should be noted as resident etc etc and I have to prove it too. I've been trying to find a point where I could prove my residency but am struggling a bit. I was living and working in Sydney for over 6 months but I was living in temporary accommodation.

I really want to find someway to say I was resident so going through all the stuff with a fine tooth comb. I want my money back.... :(

3. Posted by hels82 (Full Member 96 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I dont have the stuff to hand at the moment but if you go to the tax office website you can look for info on residency and there are some things there to read. Some of it uses 'legal speak' but you may be able to work out the loopholes or at least argue your case.

Good luck!!

4. Posted by isnoo (Inactive 77 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Whilst I understand what Caoimhea has said about claiming to be a resident I would suggest you think about this carefully - UNLESS you never intend to try and return to Aus.

You may get away with it however the Tax Office does tend to "pick" on certain sections every year, If you are caught lying.......... then there will be major consequences.

Personally I would be asking an accountant for advice.

Good luck

5. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5296 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

If you lived in Melbourne for six months in a regular house (not a hostel/hotel/...) you should definitely be okay assessing yourself as a resident for tax purposes (at that point you're in the enviable position that you can truthfully call yourself either a resident or a non-resident depending on what works out best for you). If - while staying there - you did anything like semi-regularly going to a gym, concerts, a pub, the movies, or basically participated in the local social life, you lose the option of calling yourself a non-resident, and become a resident for tax-purposes without any doubt.
None of this is "lying" in any way; this is how the tax office itself has written its rules. Their online test is located here. Since you don't fill in any personal identifiable information, you can do it several times and change your answers for questions that you're not certain about, see how it changes things. The big question (iirc) is "main purpose" - although I just did it as I imagine you would, filling in "vacationing" there, and it looks like "six months" + "renting/leasing accommodation" clinched it toward "resident" anyway.

6. Posted by hels82 (Full Member 96 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for that Sander-it says im a resident for tax purposes. Iv rented the same house for over 6 months, have joined a gym and generally lived as a 'local person'.


7. Posted by chris1 (Budding Member 42 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

This Tax business is so confusing !! I have been on the Australian tax website but not sure if I can claim tax back as a resident.

Anyway here is my situation, I am in Australia on a 1 year working visa, I have been living and working in Perth since April and will be not finish working here until 7th of September and I am leaving Perth on the 17th of September then I will continue on with my travels around Australia. So in total I will have been working and living here for around about 4 and a half months.
For the 1st month and a half I was living with family but since June I have been living with a mate, we rented the apartment through an estate agents and had to pay a 4 week bond and we are paying our rent at the post office as well as paying the electricity bill, we signed a 12 week lease for the apartment. I have also joined a Soccer team which I had pay a registration fee to join. I have been to a couple of concerts and the cinema a few teams as well but I doubt I have kept any of the tickets.

After looking at the examples on the tax website I think I eligible to claim for tax as a resident. What do you think? Also when I am best to try and claim my tax back, I will be in Australia for another 2 months after I leave Perth but will not be working again. Can I claim for the tax before I leave Perth or do I have to wait until I am leaving Australia.

8. Posted by hels82 (Full Member 96 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hey, im not sure to be honest. The possible problem in your case is that you have only been here since April-and the tax year end is end of June so thats only 3 months-i dont think you can look prospectively (ie to September) Im no expert though-might be worth contacting a tax agent or even the tax office if possible. As for when to claim-you have til October but the sooner you do it the sooner you will get the money. As I say only money you have been paid until the end of June counts so the pay from work u do between july and september needs to be claimed next year.

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 31, 2007, at 12:09 AM by hels82 ]

9. Posted by chris1 (Budding Member 42 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the reply Hels.

Yeah I was thinking that because I had worked only for 2 months before the end of the tax year, I will probably not be able to claim this back as a resident. But there is a tax office in Perth so I think I will go in and ask them for some help.

Another question though, how would I get my payment summary for the work I have done in this Australian tax year as I will be back home in Scotland in June 08. Can they send this to my U.K address and then I claim tax back from home ?

10. Posted by hmclehto (Full Member 142 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Yes they will send you group certificate anywhere in the world then just fill in e-tax online