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georgenebraska

417 - Bridging Visa - Tax Rates

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Hi,

Hoping someone can help. I recently completed my tax return for 2017-2018. In that time I was on a 417 visa but would be considered a perm resident of Australia that whole time due to my lifestyle (I'm from England, met an Aussie girl in London, we moved to Brisbane together, rented one flat etc.). My tax agent advised that I would pay a certain amount of tax and would get the tax free threshold of $18,200. 

I got my Notice of Assessment through a couple of days ago and to my surprise it was $2000 more than my agent had originally told me and on checking things he said I am a resident for tax purposes in Australia but I don't qualify for the $18,200 because I am on a 417... Seems a bit ridiculous, wouldn't I be better off saying I'm just a regular backpacker then?  Can someone advise me if I am able to claim the 18,200 tax free dollars or if I do in fact need to pay the $2000 additional?

Going forward, I have applied and paid for a defacto visa with my partner. I am now on a bridging visa but what work rights does this give me? Surely they can't expect me to remain on 417 rules, such as only being able to work for one employer for 6 months at a time? Also how should I be being taxed now? What do I class myself as when filling in tax declaration forms? 

Between my small business, contracting and some full-time contracts, it's all becoming extremely messy.

Would really appreciate a bit of help with it all as feel totally in the dark talking to the ATO who don't seem to have a clue of what I should be classing myself as.

Thanks in advance,

George

 

 

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27 minutes ago, georgenebraska said:

Hi,

Hoping someone can help. I recently completed my tax return for 2017-2018. In that time I was on a 417 visa but would be considered a perm resident of Australia that whole time due to my lifestyle (I'm from England, met an Aussie girl in London, we moved to Brisbane together, rented one flat etc.)

A lot of tax agents would have no idea about visas, they are often trained to do ordinary tax for Australian permanent residents and that's all.

It is impossible to be classed as a permanent resident "due to your lifestyle".  If you don't have a permanent visa, you are not a "permanent resident".  You could be "resident for tax purposes", and I assume that's what you're talking about.  It's important to use the right wording when talking to Immigration or the Tax Office, otherwise you're going to get confusing replies.

Someone on a 417  would normally be regarded as non-resident - but note, that doesn't mean you'd pay less tax!  It sounds as though they have treated you as an ordinary 417 holder, whereas you could make a case to be classed as resident from the first day you arrived:

https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Ind/Resident-for-tax-if-WHM-/?=redirected

To be honest, I'm not sure how you take that forward with the tax office, perhaps get a better tax agent!  

As for work rights - once your 417 expires, I believe your bridging visa will have full work rights, but see what others say. You will be a resident for tax purposes. 


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Hi,

Thanks for your reply. Apologies, I meant to say I am considered a resident for tax purposes. That is what I explained on the phone to the ATO.

I've taken a look at that link you sent before, it is slightly confusing but the line: 'The first dollar of income earned by backpackers in Australia is taxed at the working holiday maker tax rate of 15% up to $37,000 in an income year. This is regardless of residency status.'  makes me think that it doesn't even matter if you are considered a resident or not, you still don't get the $18,200 tax free and also you pay the rates of:

$0 - $37,000 : 15%
$37,000 - $87,000 : 32.5% 
$87,000- $180,000 : 37%

My 417 expired back in October of last year but I have heard rumours that your bridging visa just acts as an extension of whatever visa you were on when this was granted, being a 417. I want to be sure as I start a full time position as of next week.

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Your bridging visa grant letter will tell you exactly what conditions are on it. If you have a bridging visa based on your application for a partner visa there should be nil conditions. 


____________________________________________________________________

Paul Hand

Registered Migration Agent, MARN 1801974

SunCoast Migration Ltd

All comments are general in nature and do not constitute legal or migration advice. Comments may not be applicable or appropriate to your specific situation. 

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