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Salary, Tax and Superannuation Information

Salary and wages in Australia

The amount of money you will earn in Victoria varies widely across industries and between public and private sectors. Salaries depend on job specifics, employer type, your skill level and qualifications. To find out the average salary in Australia for your job, visit our Occupations section.

You can also research salary levels by looking at current job advertisements and relevant salary surveys. See the following Australian job websites for salary information:

To find out information on minimum rates of pay and working conditions in your industry sector, workplace rights, and legislation and publications related to the Australian workplace, visit the Australian Government's Fair Work Ombudsman website. For more information on workplace rights and rules, visit the JobWatch website.

Australian taxation system

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is responsible for collecting taxes owed to the Australian Government from individuals and businesses. Personal income tax is charged on a sliding scale depending on your annual income. The Australian financial year begins on 1 July and ends on 30 June.

Each year you will be expected to file an income tax return.

Tax file number

If you work or earn money in Australia you must have a Tax File Number (TFN), which is a unique number issued by the ATO to individual taxpayers. You can apply online for a TFN or in person at the ATO.  Fore more information visit the Australian Taxation Office website.

You don’t have to have a job before you can apply for your TFN so you should apply for one as soon as you arrive. Your TFN also links you with Medicare and other government benefit programs.

Income tax return

If you are an employee, your employer will deduct the tax you have to pay directly from your salary or wages, and send those payments to the ATO. When you lodge your income tax return at the end of the financial year, you may need to pay more tax or may receive a tax refund, depending on how much tax was paid to the ATO. This system is called pay as you go (PAYG) withholding.

By 14 July each year, your employer must give you an annual payment summary that shows the total amount you earned and the total tax paid. Most employers send them by post.

You have from 1 July to 31 October to lodge your tax return. You can lodge:

  • online using the ATO's free lodgement service
  • by mailing a paper tax return
  • by paying a registered tax agent to complete and lodge the return for you.

If you use a registered tax agent to prepare and lodge your tax return for you, you may be able to lodge later than 31 October. Registered tax agents are listed on the Tax Practitioners Board website. You can also find a tax specialist or accountant using a directory such as the Yellow Pages website.

Resident status

Residency status for tax purposes determines how much personal income tax you pay.

You may not be classed as an Australian resident if you have been living in Australia less than six months, meaning you will pay tax on every dollar earned. The standards used to classify you for tax purposes are not the same as those used for classification for your immigration and visa status.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) 'resides' test is used to determine your residency status for tax purposes.

Medicare levy surcharge

Medicare is Australia's universal healthcare system, and a healthcare levy (the Medicare levy) is imposed on the taxable income of resident individuals. Exemptions exist if you are not a resident, or if you have private health insurance. For more information, see our Health and Medical section or visit the Medicare website.


Australia has a compulsory pension (retirement) savings scheme known as superannuation, or 'super'. If you are paid A$450 or more each month, your employer must pay a further nine percent of your wage into your superannuation fund or retirement savings account. The amount should be in addition to your regular salary but some employers advertise a role inclusive of superannuation. Your superannuation cannot be accessed until you retire, usually at the age of 60-65.

Check the ATO website for more details. 

The information or services, and the views expressed that may appear on any linked websites are not necessarily endorsed by the Skilled and Business Migration Program and the Victorian Government. It is recommended that you make your own inquiries as to the appropriateness and suitability of the information on this site for your particular circumstances.