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Separating the facts from the fiction about contractor life in Australia

A cosmopolitan culture, no shortage of opportunities to catch some rays on the beach and a strong, high-income economy help to explain why Australia remains such an alluring destination for contractors, despite its comparatively high tax rates. But what else do you need to know if you wish to work Down Under with a little assistance from our own contractor advisors in Australia?

It’s certainly quite the lifestyle choice…

Whatever you could possibly desire from a place to work on a contract basis, it seems that Australia offers (almost) everything.

If a period of time spent living and working in this part of the world has long been on your bucket list, you can expect the opportunity to experience all of the rugged Outback rock formations, urban charms and captivating wildlife that you have long associated with Australian life.

So, what steps are necessary to secure the right to work here?

Before you will be able to start a contract in Australia, you must ensure you have the relevant work rights. Detailed information about visas can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website at www.homeaffairs.gov.au.

The 457 visa was once the most common visa for Australian or overseas employers wishing to sponsor skilled workers from abroad to work temporarily in the country.

Known in full as the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457), it was introduced shortly after John Howard became Prime Minister in 1996, but was abolished in 2018 by then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and partially replaced by a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.

Finally, that tax…

One of the main reasons you are likely to approach our contractor advisors in Australia here at Link Global Management is the unparalleled assistance they can give to ensure you always stay on the right side of the country’s tax law.

The Australian tax year runs from July 1 until June 30. Tax rates can be as high as 45%, with each person and company being required to lodge a tax return each year.

Individuals in Australia are able to claim a range of tax allowances, however, the most common being Living Away From Home Allowance, or LAFHA. This is principally made up of two components covering food and accommodation during your time living away from your normal place of residence.

The key deduction to be aware of, meanwhile, is superannuation. This is essentially your pension fund, and is about a tenth of your rate or salary paid into a chosen fund. If you will only be spending a short period of time as a worker in Australia, you are entitled to withdraw an accrued superannuation amount upon departure. Bear in mind, though, that tax is levied on your superannuation contributions both on their way into and out of your fund.

Do you have any other questions about what you can expect as a contractor in this diverse, fascinating and rewarding country? If so, our contractor advisors in Australia here at Link Global Management are always available to provide suitably tailored guidance.

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