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One of the first things you need to do when you arrive in Australia is get a TFN- Australia Tax File Number. This is their equivalent of an IRD number and it’s important to get.

You can apply for a tax file number online since you have your Kiwi passport – it only takes two easy steps! You do not need a TFN to work, but you will be taxed at a very high rate if you earn wages without one. You only need to do it once and you’ll be set up for ever- even if you change your name or leave Australia and return later, you still keep the same TFN. So, how can you apply?

Step 1: Move to Australia

You need to be in Australia in order to apply for a TFN. Unlike a bank account, you have to physically be in the country already.

Step 2. Apply online

Head to . Follow the steps, and you’ll be asked to enter:

  • Your passport number
  • Country of origin as per your passport
  • Legal name exactly as specified on your passport
  • Any other names you are known by
  • Date of birth as per your passport
  • Spouse details, if any
  • Postal address that your TFN will be sent to
  • Contact details
  • Previous TFN number, if you have had one before

The whole process takes about twenty minutes.

Tax rates in Australia

While paying tax isn’t the most exciting thing you’ll do with your life, it’s necessary. The rates, for the 2018-2019 tax year, are as follows. These rates don’t include the 2% Medicare levy.


Tax to pay

0 – $18,200


$18,201 – $37,000

19c for each $1 over $18,200

$37,001 – $90,000

$3,572 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $37,000

$90,001 – $180,000

$20,797 plus 37c for each $1 over $90,000

$180,001 and over

$54,097 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000


Australian Tax Calculator

This calculator on the Tax Department website will help you to understand the overall tax you will be required to pay. It includes the Medicare levy, the Medicare levy surcharge, and any repayments to Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) or Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS). It will help to clarify if there are any tax offsets or credits that may apply to you and calculate your estimated tax refund or underpayment.

Get an accountant

There are common mistakes that you might make on your tax return:

  1. Correctly identifying- in NZ and Australia- if you are a resident or non-resident. If your wages are going into a NZ bank account from a NZ company, you may still be a NZ tax resident. Make sure you clarify either way.
  2. Use actual figures – Don’t simply estimate your income. It will be matched against the figures that the Australian Tax Office have.
  3. Remember to declare overseas income – This might be a problem if you received income in NZ, or have rented out your home. Make sure all sources of income are included.
  4. Keeping receipts – When you get receipts, the best thing to do is write clearly on it what it is, who you were dining with (if entertainment costs) and then photograph it. Email it to yourself and save them until tax time. This will make the process much simpler.

If you’re unsure about anything, then consider hiring an accountant, especially for the first few years. When you arrive, there will be crossover between New Zealand and Australian tax periods, and this may add extra confusion. The Australian tax year runs from 1 July through to 30 June, while the Kiwi one runs from 1 April to 31 March.

You can find a chartered, registered accountant on line, or simply ask other ex-pats for recommendations.

If the accountant is specialised, find out what type of specialisation they have, and if they are happy to manage your tax calculations.

Tell the NZ tax department you’re leaving

Give the IRD a call, or find the IR886 tax residence questionnaire on the website. Whether you can remain a tax resident of NZ is different in every scenario and will be important to you based on where you want to be based full time. This form helps the IRD tell you if you will be an Australian tax resident, and if you have any NZ tax obligations. This may help to tie up any loose ends.

Student loan: You still must continue to pay off your student loan, even living in Australia. There is an agreement between Australia and NZ and if you don’t repay your loan, the IRD know. You can be arrested for defaulting on your student loan.

Child support: You still are required by law to pay child support, even from Australia. The agreement between NZ and Australia means that the amount of child support will continue to be deducted from your wages.

Both countries have worked to make the process as simple as possible. If in doubt, ring the relevant tax department and they will be happy to help.

If you are considering about moving across the ditch, talk to the experts as Ausmove who can help shift all your personal beings and make the process stressfree.

Our Fixed Price Guarantee:

Our Fixed Price Guarantee:

Unlike many other movers, we will provide you with a fixed quote based on your specific list of items.

Should you wish to add or remove any items, we will adjust our fixed quote accordingly. Hence, no nasty surprises at the end of the move process.

Our Service Promise:

Our Service Promise:

  • We will listen to your individual needs and requirements.
  • We will provide a prompt, competitive quote with in one working day.
  • We will provide you with the highest level of service.
Free In-Home Consultation:

Free In-Home Consultation:

If you are moving the majority of your household items from New Zealand to Australia, one of Ausmoves experienced relocation consultants will visit your home to establish your specific packing requirements and any unique moving needs. Learn more about moving to Australia from NZ.

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