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Employer Registration for Working Holiday Employees

Important Legislation Update from the ATO

Working holiday makers holding a visa subclass 417 or 462 that allows them to work while in Australia, are now under a different tax rate.

From 1 January 2017, the working holiday maker tax rate of 15% applies from the first dollar earned. They cannot claim the tax-free-threshold regardless of their residency status and must provide a tax file number (TFN), otherwise you need to withhold at the top rate of tax.

Working holiday makers remain entitled to superannuation if they are eligible.

What you need to do

To employ working holiday makers in Australia on a visa subclass 417 or 462, you:

  • must register with us to withhold at the working holiday maker tax rate before your first payment to a working holiday maker
  • should check your worker has a visa subclass 417 or 462 using the Visa Entitlement Verification OnlineExternal Link service.

Penalties may apply if you fail to register by 31/1/17.

How to register

Registering as an employer of working holiday makers is quick and easy using the registration tool.

Working holiday maker registration tool

Use the registration tool to add working holiday maker withholding to your current PAYGW registration.

Once you have registered you can start withholding at the 15% rate, print the confirmation screen for your records or if I do your payroll, you need to tell me which employees are under this 15% rate.

Any pays done after Jan 1st, need to be fixed. The ATO has designated that two PAYG Summaries apply for this financial year for working holiday makers. One applies to 31/12/16 and the next from 1/1/17 to 30/6/17. You therefore need to have two employee records in Xero for these holiday makers.

Please let me know as soon as you’ve registered and which of your employees come under this new legislation, so I can make the necessary preparations in Xero. 

How to tax a working holiday maker

The 15% tax rate only applies to salary and wages paid from 1 January 2017. You must register to withhold at this rate.

If you don’t register, you must use the foreign resident withholding rates which start at 32.5% for the first $37,000.

Penalties apply if you employ a working holiday maker with visa subclass 417 or 462 and you don’t register as an employer of working holiday makers.



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November Update

Hola Lovely Clients!


It’s been a busy few months! Thanks for all the work for last quarter. Much appreciated. For a few of you, it was a race to the end of the final BAS lodgement date. Just one straggler left!


Part of your agreement with me is that I need your paperwork to me as soon as possible after the end of the quarter, so I can schedule the work and have enough time to process. For the December quarter, all paperwork must be with me by the end of January at the latest, please. I prefer to get paperwork monthly. It’s easier on my schedule. It also means you can see how your business is doing, monthly. Thanks to everyone who got their paperwork to me on time! It really does make everything run more smoothly!

I know Christmas and New Year is generally a very busy time for 80% of you, so please still be mindful of your compliance requirements.

It bears repeating – if you send me crumpled and unreadable documents, receipts, invoices and so on, I can’t extract any meaningful information from them. Don’t leave thermal receipts anywhere they are rubbing up against anything, anywhere it’s hot, or anywhere they get crumpled. They need to be readable for 5 years!


I’m taking a small break from Thursday, 1st December for two weeks. Actually, I’m still working, doing payrolls and so on, just from another location. It’s half a holiday. Kind of. I’m in Sydney (west) if any Sydney people want to meet up (I won’t have any transport for much of the time). I’ll be in my old stomping ground, the Eastern Suburbs, at least one of days, if not more.

I’m still contactable (call is preferable) but like last time, the internet where I’ll be is generally non-existent. I will be tethering my iPhone to my laptop, for the most part, to access the internet. That’s slow, cumbersome and doesn’t have much bandwidth or allowance. To that end, I’d very much appreciate payroll information by midday please. If it’s at all possible, I will travel over to where there’s free Telstra Air on payroll days – Mondays and Thursdays.


Next BAS is due on 28th February. Super is due for the December quarter by 28th January.

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Catch Up

Hello! A few things to catch up on since June.

Payroll: Because of legislative changes, the PAYG Tax Tables have been updated and took effect on 1st October. Your employees might have seen some differences in their net pays this week.

Q2 BAS: It’s time to get all your paperwork to me – whether you upload it somewhere or send it to me. Getting paperwork in the last 2 weeks before the lodgement deadline makes it almost impossible to process. The earlier, the better please! BAS must be lodged and paid by 25th November, if I lodge for you. It needs to be ready for lodgement well before that!

Pricing Changes: Pricing has not been updated in nearly 3 years (about 2 years 10 months). Absolute Ledgers has been moving to fixed fees for most clients. Some of you are already on fixed fees, some aren’t yet. Mine is a value based service with lots of intellectual property which is kept up-to-date. It’s not about the time it takes, but more about the knowledge I have to achieve a desired result efficiently, which makes hourly rates a little irrelevant. It’s also about the changing cost of bringing my service to you. This is the way the industry has moved and I would like to keep in line with others. I’m a member of various internet and local bookkeeping groups and one thing is very clear, the general business model for bookkeepers, especially experienced ones like me, is about weekly or monthly fixed fees. One of the many benefits to you is that you will know exactly what you’ll be paying each week or month for your bookkeeping. To that end, I will be calling some of you over the next little while to discuss pricing changes specific to your situation.

As always, thank you for the work!





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Eat Pray Love

After too many years of not going anywhere significant for longer than a day trip, in March I travelled to Sydney for four days. I’m not such a good airplane passenger (and no, it’s not about falling out of the sky) and I’m not great out of my comfort zone, but somehow I negotiated the horrors of Sydney Airport and all that walking with 25 years of arthritis plus being in very unfamiliar places. In the ensuing days, while catching up with old friends, I also survived the shock of  how much Sydney has changed in 17 years.

Being a regular glutton for punishment, I’m planning to repeat the experience in just over a week. This time, for a little longer. I’ll be in Sydney to eat, pray, love, and I’ll be back at the end of June. Well, maybe just one or two of the three eat, pray love things, but I’m not saying which. I’m gliding into the unknown, but hopefully not into an abyss. Not sure what the universe has planned for me, but I plan on having some rest, relaxation, and fun.

There’s no internet broadband where I’m staying in Western Sydney, but I will have limited 4G access (via tethering devices to my iPhone), and I’ll have better access where there’s TelstraAir in the shopping centres, if I can get to them. I know, who doesn’t have broadband these days? Where I’m staying, my friends don’t have it.

I won’t have transport in Sydney as far as I know so I’m not sure how any of that is going to work yet.

I will still be doing a little work, most notably payrolls on Mondays and Thursdays (have I ever let you down?), while Gabi will be taking care of other work tasks in my office, but only where she’s been given specific permission by you to access your Xero file.

Many of you know my daughter Gabi from her growing up in Byron Bay. For those of you who don’t know, Gabi is a qualified beauty therapist and was a retail fashion management guru for many years. She’s also a 3rd generation bookkeeper, having learned from me,  from studying and from having a bookkeeping job over the last few years in large Southport-based group of entities. It’s in our heritage! I started learning from my late father when I was a teen, and my biological mother was an accountant.

Gabi also eats details for breakfast.

Holiday Payroll Request

I would very much appreciate it if you could prepare your payrolls and have them to me by midday, please.

I’m only planning one shot at processing on payroll days while I’m on holiday because I won’t have the opportunity to keep checking for your payroll information.

I’m happy to be contacted by phone, email and SMS if you have any issues. If I don’t answer my phone, please do leave a message and I’ll contact you ASAP.



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Restaurant Award Requires Lower Super Threshold

The Restaurant Industry Award 2010 [MA000119], requires that superannuation guarantee be calculated on wages above $350 per month, not $450 which is normal for most other awards. The part of the award which covers this is below.

For those of you who have employees covered by this award and who do not have the threshold set at $350, it needs to be changed.  Please get it touch to discuss. This change needs to be applied retrospectively. Please ask your accountant for further advice.

30. Superannuation

[Varied by PR523709PR530251PR546124PR561478]

30.2 Employer contributions

(a) An employer must make such superannuation contributions to a superannuation fund for the benefit of an employee as will avoid the employer being required to pay the superannuation guarantee charge under superannuation legislation with respect to that employee.

(b) The employer must make contributions for each employee for such month where the employee earns $350.00 or more in a calendar month.

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Time Off & Payroll

If you don’t already know, I’m spreading my wings and having some time off from 3rd March to 6th March. Really, only two working days of 20 I should be having every year. See how much I love my work?

If you’re a Thursday (3rd March) payroll client, please ensure you get your payroll to me or approve timesheets the night before (on 2nd), or I may not be able to process. I need to leave for the airport mid-morning, and that means getting ready and doing some last minute packing. I may be able to attend to some things later in the day, but unsure at this stage what my friends have planned, so don’t leave it to chance, please!

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December Quarter BAS


No idea where January went. It flew by! I had a few days off, here and there and the relaxation was very welcome!

On-Time Paperwork

December Quarter BAS is due for lodgement and payment by 28th February. For quarterly clients, all paperwork for October, November and December should have been on my desk by now. If you haven’t sent it yet, please do ASAP. I can’t stress enough the importance of getting your paperwork to me in plenty of time, and getting queries answered promptly, otherwise I can’t guarantee on-time processing and lodgement.

Thanks to those of you who’ve provided info on time, and it’s great I’ve been able to complete processing for most of you. The rest of the work already on my desk will be completed shortly.

Sad News

My beautiful 12yo Border Collie, Charly, passed away on Monday 25th. She had a burst tumour on her spleen, and got very sick, very fast. Many of you knew her. She was a sweet, gentle dog and she’s very much missed. She was a huge part of my life.

Assets and Finance

If you have purchased a motor vehicle or any other asset, please provide the original invoice and any finance documents so I can process correctly and upload the documents to Xero for your accountant.

So, 2016 is in full swing! Let’s get your bookkeeping up-to-date!

Another bookkeeper posted this in a Xero group.



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Holidays into 2016

Hello Fantastic Clients!

I haven’t posted anything in a while because it’s been such a busy year with one thing and another!

For some, now is the busiest time of year. Others like me can take a break, so that’s what I’m doing.

Same as every year, I’m off from this week until after the New Year. But, that’s not altogether true. Payrolls will still be done, as always!  I’m still able to be contacted, but perhaps I won’t respond as quickly.

While I’m happy to do your payroll while I’m officially on holidays, I would really appreciate it if the payroll info could get to me well before midday so I can plan some adventures in the afternoon.

A hearty welcome to new clients, and thanks to everyone whose work I’ve done this year! Some of you have been with me more years than I care to count! It’s been an absolute pleasure doing everyone’s work! Somehow I survived the crazy busy times.

Whatever you celebrate, however you celebrate, have a good silly season, and all the best for 2016!

meet here



If anyone is holidaying on the Gold Coast, we can meet up! Let me know!

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Gold Coast Public Holiday

Friday 28th August is Gold Coast Show Day, a Public Holiday just for this region. As always, payrolls will be processed, but after this busy BAS Season, I’m going to take it a bit easy.

Wherever you are, have a happy one!

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