Money Matters!

Once you have a job in Australia you need to address some Money Matters! There are number of things you need to do right away, and there are laws you must abide by. Here are a few tips to keep you on the right path!

Australian Currency

Here is a quick run down on Australian currency - Just in case you needed to know, because - Money Matters!!

Australia operates in decimal currency of Australian Dollars and cents. The lowest denomination being 5 cents coins, 1 dollar and 2 dollars are now coins. Only 5 dollars and above are in paper currency now.

You can exchange international currency easilty in major cities and towns throughout Australia, however some of the more remote areas may not provide this service so do your money exchanges in the larger cities, these are the cities where you arrive, the ones with major airports!

Tax File Numbers

Everyone who is eligible to work in Australia can apply for a Tax File Number. This links your pay to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The ATO deal with all sorts of Money Matters in Australia, tax being a big one!

The Australian Taxation Office determines how much tax you must pay. This is calculated against your annual salary, so the more you earn the higher the tax you will pay.

It is not mandatory to get a tax file number but if you do not provide one to your employer they may have to deduct the maximum amount of tax from your pay

Here is a link to more information on the Australian Tax Office website

Paying Taxes

Everyone who earns more than $6,000 per financial year (1 July to 30 June) must pay tax. Depending on your residency status you may also pay tax on earnings worldwide. Non residents are usually taxed only on their Australian earnings, whereas Australian residents will be taxed on all earnings whether in Australia or overseas. Here is a guide for the current financial year tax rates. Tax Guide

Tax returns

Once you start earning money your employer should be deducting tax at the correct rate, based on the information from the ATO. Then once you are paying tax you must lodge a tax return with the Australian Tax Office every year.After June 30 every year, usually within 2 weeks or so, you will receive a “Group Certificate” or “PAYG summary” from your employer. This will tell you your overall earnings and amount of tax paid from a single employer. You must get one of these from each and every employer you were employed by in that financial year.

Once you have all of your summaries, there are a few options for lodging your tax return. You can do it yourself, there is a guide on the ATO website or you can take the summaries plus a list of all your possible deductions to an accountant or tax agent -they handle all sorts of Money Matters, and they will prepare a tax return on your behalf. They will be able to advise you about what deductions you eligible for.

If you have paid more tax that was necessary, you will get a tax refund. BUT if you have not paid enough, and this can happen, especially if you are changing jobs frequently, then you will have to pay the ATO what they believe you owe them!

Get a Bank Account

Most, if not all, health service employers require you to have a bank or credit union account to deposit your wages into. To get a bank account, you will need to provide 100 points of identification Here is an example of what makes up 100 points of identity

If you have all your identity documents then you just submit them with your application, to a bank of your choice. Do not leave your original documents with anyone –EVER!

They will also ask for your tax file number, again, you do not have to provide this but there may be higher taxes charged to your account


Because Money Matters! All employees who earn an income in Australia must have a superannuation fund. Most health services will provide you with information on where and how to apply or join a fund. This fund is a retirement fund and cannot be accessed until a retirement age, set by the superannuation fund.

In Australia the employer pays in a mandatory contribution on your behalf and you are also able to contribute to this fund. The interest earnings from the funds investments are added to you account over the years and many people end up with a tidy retirement fund.

Salary Packaging or Salary Sacrifice

Some health services are able to offer employees salary packaging or salary sacrifice options. This is an arrangement whereby you are able to have certain deductions like rent or mortgage payments taken out of your salary before tax. This saves you on tax as the amount you are taxed on reduces. Ask at your health services Human resources department or pay office when you obtain your employment paperwork.

Remember Money Matters!

Happy Travelling!

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