Backpacker are notoriously skint, the kings of cheapskates and always trying to blag a bargain. So it surprises me that so many fall into the trap of paying a company to get your tax back for you when it’s so easy to claim it back yourself! All you have to do is decide which of the options below is relevant for you and follow the simple instructions, it’s that easy!


Firstly you need to establish whether you are an Australian resident for tax purposes. If you entered on a working holiday visa and lived in Australia for more than 183 days, and have been working and staying in the same area for around 6 months you are an Australian resident for tax purposes. If not you may not be eligible for a tax rebate. For more info check out the Travellers at work website.

You also need handy some essential info, so grab your tax file number and bank details.

  • Follow this link to the ATO’s website.
  • Download the ATO’s handy software: e-tax.
  • Yes it’s an effort to download and install it but trust me it saves so much time; the software pretty much fills in your whole tax form for you based on what it already knows from your records, all you have to do is check that the information is correct so it’s definitely worth it!
  • When you start the software will ask you for some information, and search their records from that it should be able to fill in a lot of your form for you. Just follow the questions, and check the info in correct, don’t get too bogged down with the technical wording, hardly any of the sections are relevant to backpackers. Just remember to tick that you are an Australian resident for tax purposes.
  • Simples! At the end of the form it will tell you your estimate tax back, if it doesn’t come out as what you’d expected best to go through and check you information and if it’s still looking wrong, its best to get some advice from professionals. When you happy with it, submit the form and wait for the cash to appear in your bank account!

*Disclaimer: I am not a registered accountant, the advice here is given from personal experience and is not that of a qualified accountant!