Westmeath residents might be due Australian tax refund

Experts see surge in refund applications as returned Irish travellers claim an average Australian tax refund of AUS$2,600

Approximately 36,000 working holiday and employer-sponsored visas were granted to Irish workers travelling down under in 2012 alone and according to Taxback.com since the end of the Australian tax year on June 30 they have experienced a surge in applications from those who have returned to Ireland and want to claim back a tax refund. Taxback.com say that those Irish who spent time working in Australia during 2012 or in the previous eight years could be entitled to some of the estimated €100 million in tax refunds from the Australian Tax Office (ATO ).

Aoife Flynn of Taxback.com commented; “These last few weeks have been pretty hectic in terms of enquiries and applications but there are so many more people who have yet to claim. The average demographic of an Australian tax refund claimant is anywhere between 25-39, so we would urge any of those 20,000 people aged 25-39 in Westmeath who have travelled and worked in Oz between the years 2005-2012 to submit their application and get what’s owed.

“Thousands of workers leave our shores every year in search of job opportunities and new experiences in Australia - some come home after a year or less whereas others stay for longer. All of these workers have one thing in common; they will have paid tax in Australia and may be owed this money back.:

“The primary tax rebate entitlements that Irish people are eligible to claim for are income tax and superannuation. On average, our customers get a refund of AUS$2,600 for the former and AUS$3380 for the latter; a substantial sum of money by anyone’s standards and certainly not something to be left behind or forgotten.” Taxback.com say that it’s surprising how many people return to Ireland and fail to sort out their Australian tax affairs. It is believed that this is down to a mixture of misinformation, apathy, and mistakenly thinking that getting your tax back from Australia is a laborious and tiresome experience not worth the effort. Taxback.com says that the size of an individual’s income tax refund will depend on a number of factors such as the type of visa, the amount they earned, length of work etc.

Aoife concluded, “Basically, if you’ve worked and paid tax in Australia, it’s well worth your while checking whether you can claim it back. Furthermore, most people who work in Australia will have contributions paid by their employer into a superannuation fund, which everyone is entitled to claim back.”

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