Lodging an Australian Tax Return as an International Student

Lodging an Australian Tax Return as an International Student

RMIT’s team of Tax Help assistants share the points that international students should be aware of when lodging an Australian tax return.

RMIT's Tax Help assistants are current students trained and accredited by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to help fellow students understand and lodge their Australian tax return, for free.

Nira and Tio are two student volunteer Tax Help assistants.

Read their advice about what international students should be aware of when lodging an Australian tax return.

Nira - Tax Help Assistant RMIT Marketing student, Nira, is one of the Student Connect Tax Help Assistants

Understand the Australian tax reporting process In Australia

Tax affairs are handled by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) via the MyTax system. When preparing to lodge a tax return, make sure you have registered for a MyGov account and linked to the ATO service (have all important documents handy!)

Am I considered a resident for tax purposes? 

While this question can be tricky it is super important to understand if you are considered a resident or nonresident by the ATO, as it will have a substantial impact on how much tax you pay and if you’re exempt from the Medicare levy.

Do I need to lodge a tax return?

Surprisingly, not everyone needs to submit a tax return! If you meet certain criteria, you may be eligible to submit a non-lodgment advice form instead which lets the ATO know you won’t be lodging a tax return this year and not to mark you down as having outstanding tax!

What are deductions?

Deductions are expenses that can be subtracted from your tax total for eligible expenses. Keep eligible receipts or track your expenses through the financial year via MyDeductions on the ATO mobile app!

Foreign income vs national income?

Tax paid on foreign vs national income varies greatly so it’s important to note which one (or both) applies to you!

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) vs Private health insurance

Do you have a private health insurance policy that makes you eligible for Medicare (excluding OSHC)? Check with your insurance provider to understand if you must report the cover on your tax return.

Need some help understanding Australian tax returns?

The friendly student team members of the Student Connect Tax Help service can help you! They're trained and accredited by the Australian Tax Office.

The free service runs until 31 October.

21 September 2022

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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.