• Seasonal Worker Programme

    The following are frequently asked questions for approved employers who are employing workers with a Special Programme (subclass 416) visaExternal Link under the Seasonal Worker Programme.

    How should seasonal workers apply for an Australian TFN?

    Once seasonal workers have entered Australia, they can apply online for a tax file number (TFN) using their passport and visa details.

    Attention

    It is not compulsory for seasonal workers to complete a Tax file number declaration (NAT 3092). However, the seasonal worker must provide you with their TFN so that this can be given to their super fund.

    End of attention

    What if a seasonal worker has forgotten their Australian TFN?

    If your seasonal worker has forgotten their TFN, they will need to lodge a Tax file number – application or enquiry for individuals (NAT 1432) form.

    Are seasonal workers Australian residents for tax purposes?

    A seasonal worker employed under the programme is a non-resident of Australia for tax purposes. They may become a resident for tax purposes if they stay in Australia after they finish working on the programme.

    How much do you withhold from seasonal workers?

    You are required to withhold a flat rate of 15% on all payments made to seasonal workers. Seasonal workers are not required to lodge tax returns unless they have other Australian income outside of the Seasonal Worker Programme.

    Are some seasonal workers exempt from having tax withheld from their payments?

    Some seasonal workers may be exempt from having tax withheld from their payments. Do not withhold any tax from payments made to seasonal workers from Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Kiribati if they are in Australia for 90 days or less within the financial year (that is, a year ending on 30 June).

    What happens if you have withheld tax from an exempt seasonal worker?

    If you realise that you mistakenly withheld tax from an exempt worker within the same financial year, you can refund the tax to them. If you have already paid the tax withheld amount to us and lodged an activity statement, you should revise your activity statement in order to receive a refund for the amounts incorrectly withheld and paid.

    If you find out about the mistake after the end of the financial year, the worker must phone us on 1300 306 105 and request a refund of the withholding tax.

    Are seasonal workers required to lodge a tax return?

    Workers under the Seasonal Worker Programme are not required to lodge tax returns unless they have other Australian income. They should not include their income from the Seasonal Worker Programme in their tax returns.

    If a seasonal worker has other Australian income and a tax return is required, where are they lodged?

    Completed tax returns for workers under the Seasonal Worker Programme should be sent to us at:

    Australian Taxation Office
    GPO Box 9977
    SYDNEY  NSW  2001

    Attention

    On the tax return, workers must:

    • answer no at the question 'Are you an Australian resident?'
    • not include their income from the Seasonal Worker Programme
    • not include any deductions against their seasonal worker income
    • go to 'Medicare levy related items' section 'M1 Medicare levy reduction or exemption' and indicate at label V that they are exempt from the Medicare levy by writing the total number of days they were employed.
    End of attention

    What if a seasonal worker lodged a tax return and then came back to Australia within the same financial year?

    The seasonal worker must request an amendment in writing or complete a Request for amendment of income tax return for individuals (NAT 2843) form.

    When completed, send it to us at:

    Australian Taxation Office
    GPO Box 9977
    SYDNEY  NSW  2001

    If a seasonal worker earns other income and is required to lodge a tax return, how is a tax refund paid to them?

    Refunds are paid into an individual's nominated Australian bank account, or if requested can be sent in the mail by cheque.

    As all seasonal workers have already opened an Australian bank account, refunds can be paid directly into their account. It is recommended that workers do not close their account until any expected refund has been received. The worker can then withdraw funds or obtain the funds electronically by making arrangements with a bank in their own country if they have already left Australia.

    Are seasonal workers entitled to a refund of their super?

    Once the seasonal worker has left Australia and their visa has expired, they can apply directly to their super fund for a refund of their net contributions (after deduction of tax).

    Find out more

    For information about applying for a refund of super, refer to Superannuation information for temporary residents departing Australia.

    End of find out more

    Are you required to provide payment summaries to seasonal workers?

    Where you have withheld tax from payments made to seasonal workers, you will be required to provide them with a payment summary.

    Generally, you must give each of your workers a payment summary by 14 July each year. However, you can provide them a part-year payment summary within 14 days of them requesting a copy. Part-year payment summaries provide details of withholding payments made from 1 July of that financial year to the date of issue of the payment summary.

    At the end of each financial year, you will need to include these payment summaries, along with any others that you have issued, when you lodge your PAYG withholding payment summary annual report.

      Last modified: 09 Dec 2013QC 25161