Due to the threat of huge fines on employers for cash-in-hand labour, it’s difficult to avoid paying income tax. In 2013–14, this was not levied at earnings under $18,000, then levied at 19 percent for every dollar from $18,201–$37,000, deducted at source. To become part of the system you’ll need a tax file number (apply online at ato.gov.au, call 13 2861 or visit an Australian Tax Office centre; locations are provided on the ATO website), for which you’ll need a passport with a relevant work visa. Your employer will give you 30 days’ grace to get a number, after which you’ll be taxed at 46.5 percent. Nowadays, it’s hard to claim a tax rebate, no matter how little you earn; however, it’s worth a try, and possibly a trip to a tax advisor. Alternatively, go to www.taxback.com, which offers a hassle-free service to reclaim tax and superannuation refunds.

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