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  • Auslan guides to personal tax and super

    These Auslan videos introduce the basics of personal tax and super. The videos include:

    Auslan guide to tax for individuals

     

    An overview of your personal tax. Find out how to get a tax file number (TFN), how you can lodge your tax return and more.

    You can watch the video (15 minutes, 2 seconds) or read the transcript.

    Auslan guide to keeping your personal information safe

     

    Tips to help you keep your personal information safe from scammers.

    You can watch the video (3 minutes, 24 seconds) or read the transcript.

    Auslan guide to superannuation

     

    An overview of super for individuals. Learn how super works, how much you should get, how you can look after your super and when you can get your super.

    You can watch the video (7 minutes, 52 seconds) or read the transcript.

    Video guide transcripts

    Auslan guide to tax for individuals transcript

    This video covers a range of personal tax basics, including:

    • getting your TFN and keeping it safe
    • how much tax you should pay
    • how to lodge your tax return
    • claiming expenses and keeping records.

    Your tax file number

    A TFN is a unique nine-digit number that identifies you for tax and super purposes. It's yours for life and should be protected. You'll keep the same TFN even if you change your name, change jobs, move interstate, or leave Australia and come back.

    Don’t store your TFN where it can be stolen such as your wallet, purse or mobile phone. Allowing someone else to use your TFN, selling it or giving it away can cause serious problems for you such as scammers:

    • stealing your tax refund
    • accessing your bank account
    • opening bank accounts in your name and causing you to have a debt to pay
    • committing fraud by applying for government benefits in your name.

    Only certain people are entitled to ask for your TFN, including the ATO, Centrelink, your superannuation fund, bank or financial institution, and your employer.

    Be aware of scammers trying to trick you into providing your TFN on your job application when applying for a new job. They may also try to obtain your TFN through fake job advertisements to steal your identity. Only supply your TFN to your employer after you've started your new job.

    When you start work, your employer will ask you to complete a Tax file number declaration form where you need to write down your TFN. If you don't have a TFN, you have 28 days to get one before your employer must take the maximum amount of tax from payments made to you. You can work without a TFN but more tax will be taken from your pay and superannuation contributions. You also won’t be able to lodge your tax return electronically, apply for government benefits or get an Australian business number (ABN).

    Next step:

    Starting work with an employer

    Complete a Tax file number declaration form so your payer can work out how much tax to withhold from payments they make to you.

    How to get this form

    • download the Tax file number declaration (NAT 3092) online and follow instructions provided or
    • get a paper copy of the Tax file number declaration (NAT 3092), including both the instructions and form, by either ordering online or phone 1300 720 092, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Lodging your tax return

    How much tax you pay

    The amount of tax you pay depends on:

    • how much you earn
    • whether you have a TFN
    • whether you are a resident for tax purposes.

    If you're an Australian resident, the first $18,200 you earn is tax-free. This is called the tax-free threshold. If you are a foreign resident, you pay tax from the first dollar of taxable income.

    Your tax return

    At the end of the income year, starting from 1 July, most people need to lodge an annual tax return to tell us how much income they received and tax they paid, and claim any deductions or offsets they're entitled to.

    You have until 31 October to lodge your income tax return (unless you have it prepared by a registered tax agent).

    We use the information you provide in your tax return to work out your tax refund or tax liability. We then send you a notice of assessment and a tax refund if you're entitled to one.

    Lodgment options

    You can lodge your tax return online yourself or you can use a registered tax agent. If you're unable to lodge online you can lodge by paper. If you need assistance with your tax return you may be eligible to use our Tax Help program.

    Online

    You can lodge your tax online – it’s quick, easy, safe and secure. Lodging online means we can pre-fill your return with information provided by your employer, bank and government agencies. Most information will be pre-filled by late-August.

    See also:

    Registered tax agent

    You can get help preparing and lodging your tax return by using a registered tax agent. Check if they're registered at the Tax Practitioners Board websiteExternal Link.

    Paper

    If you're unable to lodge online you can use the paper tax return for individuals and the individual tax return instructions to lodge your tax return by mail. From 2013 onwards, if you're required to complete the Business and professional items schedule you cannot lodge a paper tax return. You must lodge your tax return using myTax or through a registered tax agent.

    Tax Help program

    If you have a low income and straightforward tax affairs you may be eligible to use our Tax Help program.

    Get help from family or friends

    You can ask a family member or friend to help you. You must sign the return yourself and you're legally responsible for its accuracy.

    Claiming deductions and keeping records

    Work-related expenses

    If you're claiming work-related deductions on your tax return then there are a few things you should know.

    To claim work-related deductions:

    • you must have spent the money yourself and weren't reimbursed
    • it must be directly related to earning your income
    • you must have a record to prove it.

    It’s important if you're claiming to carefully review your deductions before you lodge to avoid a delay in getting your return.

    See also:

    Record keeping

    During the financial year you'll receive documents that are important for doing your tax, such as payment summaries, group certificates, receipts, invoices and contracts.

    Generally, you must keep your records for any deductions you claim for at least five years from the date you lodge your tax return.

    When you lodge your tax return, we process it and work out whether you've paid the right amount of tax. We let you know the result by sending you a notice of assessment.

    More information

    See the 'Individuals' section on the ATO website.

    Or you can call us on 13 28 61 by using the National Relay Service (NRS) and asking for the ATO number you need. TTY users, phone 13 36 77. Internet relay users, connect to the NRS on relayservice.com.auExternal Link

    Auslan guide to keeping your personal information safe transcript

    Your personal information, like your identity – is unique. You use it to verify who you are and to access things like bank accounts, loans and tax returns.

    Protecting your personal information is important, but do you know what to protect?

    Personal information includes your name, address, date of birth, credit card details, myGov details, TFN and driver licence details.

    Without proper protection your personal information can be stolen. For example, a scammer might use a fake job recruitment process to ask for information like your TFN. Scammers can also call you, email you, knock on your door and collect your details via online ‘classifieds’.

    Like locking up your house or covering your pin at the ATM, ensure you're protecting your personal information too. Here are a few simple tips to follow:

    • don’t put your TFN on your resume and only give it to an employer after you’ve started a job
    • never share your TFN on social media
    • if your relationship status changes, think about changing any passwords you shared
    • if you’re going to use a tax agent, make sure they’re registered.

    See also:

    Auslan guide to superannuation transcript

    Understanding super

    Superannuation, often called super, is money saved during your working years to live on when you retire from work. Super is important for you because the more you save, the more money you will have for your retirement.

    This video covers:

    • who is eligible for super and how it's paid
    • how to keep track of your super and find your lost super
    • when you can access your super.

    Generally, your employer must pay super for you if you're 18 years old or over, and paid $450 or more before tax in a calendar month. Or if you're under 18 years old, and paid $450 or more before tax in a calendar month, and work more than 30 hours a week.

    This applies whether you work casual, part-time or full-time hours, and if you're a temporary resident. You may also be eligible if you're a contractor who is paid primarily for labour.

    From 1 July 2014, your employer must pay a minimum of 9.5% of your ordinary time earnings each quarter into your super. The rate will gradually rise over the coming years.

    Ordinary time earnings are usually the amount you earn for your ordinary hours of work. It includes things like commissions, over-award payments, shift-loading, certain bonuses and allowances, but doesn’t include overtime payments.

    If you’re not sure your employer is paying the correct super, talk to them about it. Ask how often they are paying your super, into which fund they're paying it, and how much they're paying.

    You can also check your last super statement from your super fund or contact the fund to confirm your employer has paid your super.

    The 5-step super check

    To help you keep track of your super, you can use the 5-step super check.

    1. Check your super statements and ensure you are receiving the correct amount of super. Check you're getting your employer contributions and look at your super fund fees and insurance cover – make sure you're not paying for the same type of cover twice.
    2. Make sure your super account is linked to your TFN. By linking your super accounts to your TFN you can keep track of and transfer your super by using myGov.
    3. Find out how you can keep track of your super using myGov. Learn how to look for any lost super and merge your super accounts into one, removing any additional super fees you may be paying.
    4. See if you're eligible for government super contributions.
    5. Think about making extra super contributions to your account in addition to the super your employer pays on your behalf. Even the smallest amount can make a difference.

    Accessing your super

    Generally you can only withdraw your super money in certain circumstances. For example, when you retire or turn 65. However, there are some circumstances where you can access your super savings early, such as severe financial hardship and specific medical conditions.

    If you legitimately need some of your preserved super earlier, ask your super fund about whether you can access it before applying.

    Beware of promoters offering various plans to gain early access to your super savings. The promoters of these plans will tell you that they can help you access your super savings for reasons such as paying off debts, buying a house or car, or even going on holiday. They usually encourage you to transfer your super from your super fund into a self-managed super fund (SMSF). These schemes are illegal and heavy penalties apply if you participate.

    More information

    See the 'Super' section on the ATO website.

    Or you can call us on 13 10 20 by using the National Relay Service (NRS) and asking for the ATO number you need. TTY users, phone 13 36 77. Internet relay users, connect to the NRS on relayservice.com.auExternal Link

    Contact us

    To ask us about:

    • your personal tax – phone us on 13 28 61 by calling the National Relay Service and asking for the ATO number you need
    • your super – phone us on 13 10 20 by calling the National Relay Service and asking for the ATO number you need.

    Calling the National Relay Service:

      Last modified: 04 May 2017QC 47430