Submission to the Working Holiday Maker tax review

By Stephen Howes

September 2016

In August 2016, the Deputy Prime Minister and Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister announced a review into the terms of taxation for individuals in Australia on working holiday maker visas (417 and 462 visas). This submission, authored by Stephen Howes and based on two horticultural employer surveys, argues that reforms related to the working holiday maker (backpacker) tax cannot be looked at in isolation from other issues pertaining to Australia’s horticultural sector. Any reforms should serve to level the playing field for backpackers and seasonal workers. Three key recommendations are made: to apply the same tax rate to both groups; to level market testing requirements for both groups; and to require registration of employers and labour hire companies who hire backpackers and seasonal workers. The outcomes of the review were announced on 27 September 2016.

Howes, S. 2016, Submission to the Working Holiday Maker tax review, Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Canberra.

Karen Downing

Karen Downing is Research Communications Coordinator at the Development Policy Centre.