Backpacker employers need to register with Australian Tax Office

By  •  February 5, 2017 at 11:24 pm  •  0 Comments

The Australian Tax Office is encouraging anyone who employs a backpacker to register by the January 31 deadline so they can apply the new 15 per cent tax rate.

From January 1, the working holiday maker tax rate, also known as the backpacker tax, of 15 per cent is applied from the first dollar earned to any workers with 417 and 462 visas.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Gleeson said employers of working holiday makers must register with the ATO and check their worker has the right visa before withholding at the new rate.

‘‘Anyone currently employing someone on a 417 or 462 visa needs to register with the ATO by January 31, 2017 to use the new rate.

‘‘If you aren’t currently employing backpackers but will later in the year, you do not need to register by the deadline. You just need to register when you employ them.

‘‘A registered employer should withhold at a rate of 15 per cent for the first $37000 paid to a working holiday maker. An unregistered employer still has a withholding obligation but at standard foreign resident rates,’’ Mr Gleeson said.

He said employers should also check their worker has the right visa.

A worker’s visa status can be checked using Visa Entitlement Verification Online service on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website. Backpackers can also easily access this information and make it available to their employer.

To register for the new tax rate go to and search backpacker tax.

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