Australian tax file number, tax rates, tax calculator and find a tax agent/accountant.

The Australian tax system works pretty similar to New Zealand. The Australian Tax Office/Department is the equivalent of the IRD in New Zealand.

Your employer will pay tax to the Australian Tax Department/Office on your behalf. If you are self employed you will need to file your own tax returns, so you will need to get an Australian tax accountant to help you file everything correctly.

Australian Tax File Number

A Tax File Number (TFN) is the Australian equivalent of the New Zealand IRD number. You do not need to have a TFN to work and pay Australian tax, however you will be charged at a higher tax rate. The Australian tax year runs from the 1st of July through to the 30th of June.

You should apply for a TFN number as soon as you arrive in Australia. You are not able to apply from New Zealand. You can apply online here: https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/tax-file-number/apply-for-a-tfn/foreign-passport-holders,-permanent-migrants-and-temporary-visitors—tfn-application/

Australian Tax Rates

Please find below a table containing the Australian individual income tax rates.

The following rates for 2018–19 apply from 1 July 2018.

Resident tax rates 2018–19

 Taxable income  Tax on this income
 0 – $18,200  Nil
 $18,201 – $37,000  19c for each $1 over $18,200
 $37,001 – $90,000  $3,572 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $37,000
 $90,001 – $180,000  $20,797 plus 37c for each $1 over $90,000
 $180,001 and over  $54,097 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

The above rates do not include the:

  • Medicare levy of 2%
  • Temporary Budget Repair Levy; this levy is payable at a rate of 2% for taxable incomes over $180,000.

See also:

Foreign resident tax rates 2018–19

 Taxable income  Tax on this income
 0 – $90,000  32.5c for each $1
 $90,001 – $180,000 $29,250 plus 37c for each $1 over $90,000
 $180,001 and over $62,550 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

The above rates include changes implementing changes announced in the 2018-19 Federal Budget.

Foreign residents are not required to pay the Medicare levy.

The temporary budget repair levy ceased applying from 1 July 2017.

Comprehensive Australian Tax Calculator

The below links will take you to the Australian tax calculator on the Australian Tax Department/Office website. This calculator will help you to calculate the tax you owe on your taxable income for the previous three income years.

It will estimate your tax payable and will also calculate:

  • Medicare levy
  • Medicare levy surcharge
  • Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) repayment
  • Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) repayment, and
  • Any tax offsets that may apply.

It will take these, along with other tax credits, into account in estimating your tax refund or debt.

https://www.ato.gov.au/Calculators-and-tools/Host/?anchor=STC&anchor=STC#STC/questions – this calculation will take between two and 10 minutes to complete.

Find an Australian Tax Agent/Accountant

A tax agent or accountant can help you lodge your tax return, claim more deductions and get you more tax back.

Using a professional tax accountant has many benefits and unless your an accountant it’s a must. Tax returns can be tricky and tax agents can help you prepare and submit your tax returns.

Tax agents liaise closely with their clients to help them claim as many deductions as possible and get the biggest tax return. They can also help and provide advice for managing your taxes throughout the year.

If your finances are straightforward (for example, your only income is from an employer and you have few or no deductions to claim), try doing it yourself online via myTax, which is similar to MyIR with the IRD.

How to find an accountant

You can find accountants in your area by searching online.

You can also ask for recommendations from family and friends. It is useful to find an accountant in your area so you can personally see them.

Questions to ask your accountant

After you have created a shortlist of accountants, contact each of them and find out:

  • Specialisation – you want an accountant who can quickly get through your accounts because they deal with similar situations to yours all the time.
    • What services do they offer?
    • Do they have the right experience to help with your specific needs?
  • Customer service – how quickly do they respond to your initial enquiry. This will be a reflection of the level of service you will receive from them. Ask:
    • Do they respond to phone calls and emails promptly?
    • Do they communicate in plain language with limited use of financial jargon?
  • Fees – you want to address this up front so you don’t get a surprise big bill. Ask:
    • What will you be charged, and when?
  • Registered – if they are going to do complete your tax return, your accountant must be registered, so make sure you check the tax and BAS agent register.
    If they are providing investment advice, they must have an AFS licence or be an authorised representative of an AFS licence holder, check the financial advisers register.
  • Qualified – do they have appropriate tertiary qualifications and are they a member of a professional association? Professional bodies impose standards on their members and will deal with complaints if you’re not happy with your accountant.
    • Examples of professional bodies include the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, Certified Practicing Accountants Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants.

If you’re happy with the answers to all these questions you’ll feel more confident working with the accountant.

Good accountants can help you maximise your income and minimise your tax. Take some time to shop around and choose an accountant that meets your needs.

Inform the IRD that you are Moving to Australia

New Zealand tax residence questionnaire IR886

The IR886 form tells the IRD you are leaving, or have left New Zealand so they can tell you your tax residence status and if you have any further New Zealand tax obligations. It also includes the IR597 form you can use to elect someone in New Zealand to act on your behalf.

Also inform the IRD of your new address in Australia when you have one. It is easiest to do this online. Click here to register for the IRD’s online service, which means you can easily update your address while overseas and continue to be informed about things like student loan repayments or other tax obligations you may have.

If you have any questions, please fill out the below form and we will get back to you asap.

14 Comments

  1. Malcolm Blackledge

    July 15, 2013 at 4:48 am

    hello how do i go about getting an ird number as im flying in aussie on the 25th and start work on the 31st can i do this from nz.

    Reply
  2. Jeanette

    August 26, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Hello I’m want it to know if I want to move to Australia how can I apply for IRD ? So that I can work in Australia .. And how long to I have to wait for if I apply ?? Thank you Jeanette

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      August 26, 2015 at 7:51 am

      Hi Janette,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      You need to apply for the IRD number equivalent, tax file number (TFN), when you arrive in Australia. You are not able to apply from New Zealand.
      You can apply online by following the below link: https://iar.ato.gov.au/iarweb/default.aspx?pid=4&sid=1&outcome=1.
      Please note, you are able to start work without a TFN.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  3. Breanne

    June 12, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    I am currently attending university in NZ. As part of my degree I will be undertaking a 9 week paid internship in Australia, and then returning to NZ. Do I need to apply for a TFN number.

    Reply
  4. Carlene Clark

    August 5, 2017 at 7:27 am

    I lived in Australia from 1998-2009 but my tax file number was in my married name of Carlene Annette Ward.My last address:15 Granada Street,Wynnum,4 178.I worked at The Mater Private Hospital.As i am not divorced but am legally allowed my Passport & my NZ Inland Revenue my Surname is Clark.Can i still use my old tax file number when i return to live approximately Nov?

    Reply
  5. Sandy

    February 7, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    I am planning to move in Australia so i have to apply for IRD number there or its same there
    please let me know
    thankyou

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      February 8, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      Hi Sandy,
      Thank you for your comment.
      You need to apply for the IRD number equivalent a tax file number (TFN), when you arrive in Australia. You are not able to apply from New Zealand.
      You can apply online by following the below link when you arrive: https://iar.ato.gov.au/iarweb/default.aspx?pid=4&sid=1&outcome=1.
      Please note, you are able to start work without a TFN.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  6. AJ Croad

    February 15, 2018 at 12:22 am

    Planning on moving to Brisbane.
    I have previously lived in Brisbane and worked. Minimum 20+ years.
    In my return, Im wondering if my previous tax number would still exist, would I need a new one.
    Thank you

    Reply
  7. Gemma Templeton

    February 21, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Hi there,
    I am moving back to Australia in May. I got a TFN number when I lived in Australia in 2009. Who can I contact to find my number again please. Or can you help me out?
    Regards

    Reply

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