What are your backpacker tax duties?

What are your backpacker tax duties?

The backpacker tax battle may be over in Parliament, but confusion remains for many farmers about how the new backpacker tax rules apply to them.

From January 1, 2017, changes to the backpacker tax will see backpackers pay 15 per cent in income tax from their first dollar earned and there are changes to backpackers’ superannuation taxes starting in July 2017.

NSW Farmers Industrial Relations Manager Matt Waring said some farmers might not be aware of their new obligations.

“Farmers and labour hire contractors had until January 31 to register with the ATO to apply the new rate to current employees, otherwise they will have to withhold the full 32.5 per cent foreign resident tax rate,” Mr Waring said.

“For those that did register, you should withhold 15% from every dollar earned up to $37,000 with foreign resident tax rates applying from $37,001.”

“Registration is still open for employers who are engaging new employees in 2017 and we understand the ATO is working on new Tax File Declaration documents to make the transition a bit easier.”

Mr Waring said NSW Farmers is hosting a series of workshops on the north coast to inform farmers about obligations for backpackers, providing on farm accommodation for employees, award rates and using farm contractors.

The workshop will also feature a presentation on quad bike safety, enabling participants to qualify for Safework’s $500 safety rebate.