If you’re enrolled to study in Australia in a course that lasts for six months or more, you’re usually regarded as an Australian resident for tax purposes. This means:
- You pay tax on your earnings at the same rate as other residents
- You’re entitled to the benefits of the Australian tax system, such as:
- the tax-free threshold (or part of it, if you’re here for only part of the financial year)
- tax offsets
- Generally lower tax rates than a foreign resident.
Generally Australian residents must announce all income they’ve earned, both in Australia and internationally, on their Australian tax return. However, as an overseas student you maybe have a temporary visa, which means you’re a temporary resident.
If you’re a temporary resident, most of your foreign income is not taxed in Australia and you don’t say publicly it on your Australian tax return. You declare only income you derive in Australia, plus any income you earn from employment performed overseas for short periods while you are a temporary resident of Australia.
After the end of the Australian income year (30 June), you lodge an annual tax return to tell ATO how much earnings you received and tax you paid. ATO, then send you a notice of assessment and your tax refund if you’re allowed to one. If you worked in Australia you will probably need to lodge an Australian tax return after 30 June. You can lodge your return online from your home country.
If you are leaving Australia permanently you may be entitled to lodge an Australian tax return early. In this case you must lodge a paper return, which takes longer to process.
If you have been an Australian resident but are leaving Australia and keeping assets here, you should know about capital gains tax (CGT) and going overseas.
Any super contributions paid by your employer must remain in your super fund account while you are in Australia.
You can claim your super after you leave if you:
- were in Australia on an eligible temporary-resident visa (but not if you were on visa subclasses 405 and 410)
- had super aid paid by an employer while you were in Australia
- have left Australia and your working visa has either expired or been cancelled.
Before your super is paid to you, your fund will deduct tax.