Backpacker Tax Reform passes first hurdle

Following on from the announcement by the Federal Government that it would withdraw its proposed backpacker tax in favour of a tax rate of 19% from the first dollar earned up to $37,000, legislation now has been passed by the House of Representatives to this effect. However, the legislation also would need to pass the Senate.

The legislation also gives effect to other aspects of the Government’s policy announcement, including new registration requirements for employers and changes to the visas rules for working holiday makers.

The legislation now has been referred to a Senate inquiry which will hand down its report by 7 November 2016. SAWIA’s submission to the inquiry supported the lower tax rate of 19% as a workable compromise, but opposed other measures that simply will add red tape and increased compliance costs on wine industry employers.