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29 Nov 2019 Regarding Member 320’s comment ‘Backpacker tax & residency for tax purposes’

ATO response: 

Thanks Member 320 for your comments. 

The ATO has robust systems in place that assess the residency of individuals. The automatic processing system mentioned is used for the majority of individuals who come to Australia, for a visit or a working holiday, being assessed as a foreign resident for tax purposes. We use high quality, third party data in making these decisions and inform individuals via an adjustment reason on their Notice of Assessment. 

Although the ATO may hold data on previous decisions relating to an individual, determination on residency status is made on a year by year basis as situations often change. This may mean individuals do not meet the same circumstances (e.g. how long they were physically in Australia during the financial year) or if there is a delay in receiving data that could have informed the decision (e.g. current visa held or on-shore status of an individual at a point in time). 

If you believe any of your clients have been incorrectly assessed, phone us on 13 72 86 Fast Key Code 1 2 5 2. In circumstances where the information we have received was incorrectly reported or where the taxpayer circumstances are different, we can quickly assess any additional information in our systems to make a determination on residency and correct the assessment without needing the agent to object or amend.

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