The “BackPacker Tax” Law Amendments were introduced in the House of Reps Wed 12 October 2016. The amendments relate in principal to working holiday makers i.e. individuals holding a Subclass 417 (Working Holiday) visa, a Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visa or certain related bridging visas. The proposed changes were those released by the Treasurer on the 27 September 2016.
The proposed changes when passed seek to:
apply a 19% income tax rate to working holiday maker taxable income (i.e. relevant assessable income less deductions) on amounts up to $37,000, converting to ordinary tax rates for taxable income exceeding this amount;
allow the Commissioner to disclose information to the Fair Work Act 2009 to the Fair Work Ombudsman;
require employers of working holiday makers to register with the Tax Office to manage approved employers application to withhold tax at income tax rates applying to working holiday makers;
require the Tax Commissioner to give the Treasurer reports on working holiday makers statistics;
increase the departing Australia superannuation payments tax rate to 95% for working holiday makers;
reduce the visa application charge for Subclass 417 (Working Holiday) visas and Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visas from $440 to $390; and
increase the passenger movement charge (departure tax) from $55 to $60.
The measures contained in the Bills (assuming approved in the form submitted) are proposed to take effect from 1 January 2017. The measures to change certain visa application charges and the passenger movement charge and to increase the rate of the departing Australia superannuation payments tax are proposed to take effect from 1 July 2017