Are you an international student? Do you have a job and working to pay for your studies? Have you heard about the yearly tax return but confused about what it means to you?

If you answered “YES” to the questions above then you are not alone!

Student Tax Buddy sees hundreds of international students each month, just like you. We spent some time together with Carlos from STB and found out that there are many myths out there about who should lodge a tax return and when. Lets bust a few!

Myth #1It’s my first year in Australia, I am working and my friends said I don’t need to lodge a tax return.

Busted! Everyone who has a tax file number and who works in Australia must lodge a tax return by the 31st of October of each year. It doesn’t matter whether it is your 1st year or your 5th year, it is your obligation as a taxpayer to comply with the law!

Myth #2 – I was told that in my first year in Australia I get all my tax back.

Busted! This is a very common myth and 1 in 3 students will ask this question during their tax return interview. In Australia there is a tax free threshold of $18200 which means that if you earn under this amount you will get all your tax back if you are a resident for tax purposes. While most students work and earn under this amount in their first year in Australia, there are an increasing number of students earning over this amount, even in the first year. The myth started when students would celebrate getting all their tax back and spreading the word to all their friends about their large tax return. So remember, if you earn under the threshold then you can claim all your tax back BUT if you earn over then you will pay the appropriate tax for that bracket.

Myth #3 – I was told that everything that I buy for work that I can get the money back in my tax.

Busted! – This is a big one that we hear all the time in the office! The Australian tax return system allows you to claim your work expenses as a deduction on your tax return. But what does “Claim” even mean? Well, it means that if you buy safety boots for work that cost $150 then the tax that you pay on your tax return will be reduced by $150 when you claim the safety boots. It does not mean that you will get an extra $150 back in your tax. Remember that you cannot get more tax back than you have paid during the year.

So remember, everyone who works in Australia must do their tax return by the 31st of October and that’s just around the corner. So if you have not done your tax yet, Click on the link below and register your details so one of the friendly team members from Student Tax Buddy can give you a call to help you with your tax return.

>>>Click Here “I would like Student Tax Buddy to contact me”

PS. Not lodging your tax return can attract fines from the ATO of up to $170 for every 28 days it remains overdue. Don’t get stung!


Carlos Villanueva
In 2012 I decided I would submerge myself in the entrepreneurial world. It was the best decision I have ever made and my life has made a 180 degree turn since. Today I am the founder and CEO of Student Tax Buddy and, together with the best team in the world, transformed a classic tax agency into Australia's only tax agent for International students with the mission of trying to change the way people think about tax in Australia.