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Do I have to pay tax in Australia if I am on a visa?

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Australian residency for tax purposes defines a “foreign resident” as being a person who is not a resident of Australia for the purposes of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.

An individual is generally an Australian resident if they reside in Australia. They will also be considered an Australian resident if they are domiciled in Australia, or are present in Australia for at least 183 days of the income year.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has a great tool to assist people in ascertaining if they are a resident taxpayer. More information on resident taxpaying can be found on the ATO website.

There is also detailed information of the type of tax you will have to pay if working in Australia whilst on a visa. The site details the various options depending on the visa you hold, breaking it down into categories:

  • working in Australia;
  • working holiday in Australia;
  • studying in Australia; and
  • permanent resident in Australia.

More information within the above visa types can be found on the ATO website here.

A company is a resident of Australia if it is incorporated in Australia, if it carries on a business in Australia and has either its central management and control in Australia, or its voting power is controlled by shareholders who are Australian residents.

The rules around the corporate tax regime including international treaties and the repatriation of funds overseas can be very complicated.

It is also always worth obtaining expert legal and accounting advice if you are not sure. There are significant penalties and sanctions for people who do not comply with Australia’s taxation laws.

At Visa Australia we work with a range of accountants including financial and tax experts who have years of experience when it comes to assisting individual and business migrants whether moving to Australia permanently or on a temporary basis.

Should you have any questions regarding paying tax or would like to begin your visa application, please contact our Registered Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers today.


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