North Burnett employers urged to register with ATO for new ‘backpacker tax’

Jan 5, 2017 | Front Page Feature, News

Registration has been extended to 31 January 2017.


From 1 January 2017, tax rates have changed for working holiday makers who are in Australia on a 417 or 462 visa. These rates are known as working holiday maker tax rates.

Changes for employers of working holiday makers in Australia on a 417 or 462 visa include:

  • From 1 January 2017, you should withhold 15% from every dollar earned up to $37,000 with foreign resident tax rates applying from $37,001.
  • You must register with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) by 31 January 2017 to withhold at the working holiday maker tax rate.
  • If you already employ working holiday makers you will need to issue two payment summaries (with different rates) this year – one for the period to 31 December 2016 and a second for any period from 1 January 2017.
  • If you don’t register, you will need to withhold at the foreign resident tax rate of 32.5%
  • Penalties may apply if you employ holiday makers but don’t register.

Once your registration has been accepted, a withholding rate of 15% can be applied to the first $37,000 of a working holiday maker’s income.

North Burnett Regional Council Mayor Cr Rachel Chambers urges all backpacker employers to be prepared for these new tax changes.

“North Burnett employers, including farmers and contractors, are urged to register as an employer of Working Holiday Makers with the ATO prior to January 31 to ensure they comply with the new 15% tax rate or risk paying a penalty,” Mayor Chambers advised.

To check if an employee is a working holiday maker use the Department of Immigration and Border Protection Visa Entitlement Verification Online system.

For further information or to register as an employer of working holiday makers see the ATO website.

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