Backpackers make up 25% of the agricultural workforce across Australia with the Northern Territory having the highest rate of backpacker workers at 85% and come to the country on working holiday visas.
A proposed Backpacker Tax was announced in the 2015 budget which would scrap the current $18,200.00 tax free threshold would visa holders working on Working Holiday visas paying tax on all income from the 1st July 2016. This would in turn earn the government an estimated $540 million dollars over the next 3 years.
Some of the most popular jobs are in the hospitality and agricultural industries such as:
The delay in applying the tax has been announced along with a 6 month review of Australia’s working holiday visas by the federal government.
The National Farmers Federation (NFF) have expressed their concern about the delay in the tax and have requested it to be scrapped altogether so farmers can forward plan their labour requirements. The ultimate fear is that if Australia introduces this tax that many of those travelling to Australian on a working holiday visa will either shorten they stay or decide to bypass Australia completely for other countries who do not carry the tax, such as New Zealand.
Malcolm Turnbull confirmed the tax would not be applied until next year – and after the upcoming election.