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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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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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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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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There’s a new kid on the block for sending things around Australia – sendle.com. It costs ever so slightly more than temando.com or going direct through Couriers Please by buying many satchels at a time, but it’s definitely cheaper than Australia Post. It’s also door to door.

While the driver at Couriers Please knows me and knows where to leave a satchel or parcel if I’m not home (I have an “authority to leave” with them), sendle.com is another option for one-off or infrequent freight, and has good rates if you send lots of parcels. Their website also looks easier to use than temando.com.

Lately Australia Post’s services have degraded to such an extent that it’s almost not worth using them. If a parcel or satchel is less than 500 grams and won’t fit in my mailbox (most won’t), I’m still forced to go to the post office to pick it up. Often, it’s not available at the receiving post office until the next morning because of recent Australia Post changes.

Anything over 500 grams gets delivered by the Australia Post contractors (who are lovely), but if I’m not home and it requires a signature, I’m still forced to go stand in a line at the post office. That’s not cost or time effective! Neither is standing in a line to post something, which is more expensive than having something picked up by another service.

Used to be that everything, signature required or not, was delivered to my door by Australia Post. Too much has changed, and the service is no longer a premium one, despite paying premium prices.

From the sendle.com website:

Simple flat rates help you save on sending all over Australia.

Order in seconds with no contracts, minimum orders or waiting in line.

Track your parcels, view history, save your details, custom integrations and more.

Give them a try if you’re not happy with your current service!


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