Tax and Superannuation

Before you start working, you will need to apply for a Tax File Number in order to receive an income in Australia. Your employer is usually required by law to pay money into a superannuation account for you – which is an Australian form of pension. If eligible, you may be able to access this money when you permanently leave Australia. If you study in Australia for more than six months, expect to pay the same tax as an Australian citizen.

At the end of the financial year, which ends on 30 June, you must lodge a tax return to the Australian Tax Office.

Apply For a Tax File Number

To receive an income in Australia, you need a Tax File Number (TFN). Income includes wages or salary from a job, payments from the government, and money earned from investments including interest on savings accounts.

You can apply for a TFN online at the Australian Tax Office website.

Superannuation

If you work in Australia as an international student and are paid $450 or more per calendar month, you may be entitled to superannuation – which is the Australian form of pension. You employer is usually required by law to pay money into a superannuation or retirement saving account for you. These super guarantee contributions must be at least 9.25 per cent of your ordinary earnings and you may be entitled to choose your own super fund.

If you are eligible, you may be entitled to this money when you permanently leave Australia.

For more information, visit the Australian Tax Office website.

Rights and Responsibilities

Everyone working in Australia, including international students or those on working holiday visas, has basic rights at work. Equal opportunities must be provided to all workers in Australia. It is illegal to disadvantage anyone in the workplace on the basis of race, religion, age, gender, marital status, sexual preference or disability.

Australia’s strict laws relating to employment conditions are there to protect you, providing you with:

  • A minimum wage.
  • Protection from unfair treatment or dismissal.
  • Breaks and rest periods during longer working hours.
  • A healthy and safe work environment.

For more information about your rights and responsibilities, visit the following links: