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  • Introduction



    This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

    End of attention

    This publication contains a list of codes to assist you to correctly complete the individual tax return on behalf of your clients. You must provide an accurate description of a taxpayer's main salary and wage occupation at item 1 of the tax return, and insert the appropriate 4-digit code from the list at X item 1. If the taxpayer was involved in more than one salary and wage income-earning activity, provide the description and code for the activity that produced the greatest amount of income. Please note that the occupation description and code apply to salary and wage income only and not to other types of income such as pensions and business or investment income.

    The codes in this publication are in alphabetic order and numeric order. In the first instance use the alphabetic list to select the appropriate code to enter on the tax return by searching under keywords that describe the taxpayer's main salary and wage income-earning occupation.

    For example:

    • ambulance officer - search under the keyword 'ambulance' to find the code 3491
    • shipping clerk - search under the keyword 'shipping' to find the code 6152
    • security guard - search under either of the keywords 'security' and 'guard' to find the code 8311.

    Once you have identified the most appropriate code from the list, enter it at X item 1 on the tax return.

    If you cannot select the code using the alphabetic list, your second option is to use the numeric list. Here you need to search for the main occupation of the taxpayer under relevant broad occupation category headings. For example, if a taxpayer earned the most salary and wage income from working as a personnel manager, you would search under headings related to 'managers'. In this case, the closest heading would be 'Specialist managers'. In the 'Specialist managers' group the appropriate entry, 'Personnel manager', code 1213, can be found. Enter this code at X item 1 on the tax return.

    The numeric list may contain more than one major category for some occupations. For example, clerical work is covered by several different headings, such as 'Secretaries and personal assistants' and 'Intermediate clerical workers'. In this case, you may have to examine each category to find the most appropriate code.

    If you cannot find an appropriate specific occupation code in either list, enter an accurate description of the taxpayer's occupation and use the 'Occupation not listed' code 0990. Please use this code as a last resort only.

    Only use codes from this publication and take care to describe and code occupations as accurately as possible. An incorrect code may result in your client not receiving necessary service or material from the Tax Office or could lead to incorrect targeting of an audit.

    In addition, the Tax Office provides the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) with aggregated client records for the preparation of national accounts and related economic surveys. Salary and wage occupation codes are an important part of the information the Tax Office gives to the ABS.

    Last modified: 04 Mar 2020QC 18040