Razor's Tax Tips

Student Life


1. Figure out if you’re an Australian tax resident
Were you were born in Australia, or are you an international student studying here for six months or more? You’re considered an Australian resident for Australian income tax purposes, and will need to file a tax return. If you’re unsure, get in touch with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or a registered tax agent to find out.

2. Get all your info ready to go
To file your tax return, there are some key bits of information you need to have on hand, including:
• your tax file number (TFN)
• your payment summary (your employer will give this to you at the end of each financial year)
• bank statements showing any interest you’ve earned
• invoices and receipts for items that you can claim tax on

3. Declare all your income – not just the cash you’ve earned working
Income can come from a variety of sources, not just your pay check from work, and you need to declare all of them. These might include (but aren’t limited to):
• Tips, allowances and bonuses
• Government payments and allowances, for eg. Youth Allowance, Austudy payments, Newstart Allowance
• Income from bank interest
• Dividend income

4. Working while you study? Know what you can (and can’t!) claim
There are a number of work-related expenses you can claim. Remember - you can’t claim tax on something that your employer has already reimbursed you for.
• Compulsory work uniforms
• Work-related phone and internet costs
• Travel between work sites (not to and from work)
• Home office expenses
• Self-education expenses

5. Self-education expenses – find out if you’re eligible
You may be eligible to claim self-education expenses. Generally, if you work full-time and are studying subjects directly related to your work, you may be eligible to claim uni student tax deductions including (but not limited to):
• Course fees (not including HECS/HELP)
• Stationery and textbooks
• Student service fees, union fees and amenity fees

6. Need help? Chat to the ATO
I’m sure you have a million more questions. The ATO are available to help you out. Contact them at www.ato.gov.au/About-ATO/Contact-us.

The Student Life Tax Help Program is a FREE service provided by ATO-trained student volunteers to help you submit your tax return online. Book an appointment today at swi.nu/tax