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Backpacker myths still persist

Greens Treasury spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson says it was disappointing that so many industry stakeholders were still under the impression at today’s Senate Economics Committee 'Working Holiday Maker Reform package' Hearing that the default position on the backpacker tax is 32%.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The Greens have received advice from the Parliamentary Library and had this confirmed by the ATO at a previous hearing that if the Government’s backpacker legislation does not pass, then the practical reality is that most backpackers will still be taxed the same as residents. That is, their effective tax rate will be 0% until they reach the threshold of $18,200.

“Many stakeholders in the Hearing today had believed Government intimations that the rate will automatically default to 32% if legislation is not immediately passed. This is simply not the case.

“Primary Employers Tasmania have now withdrawn their support of the government’s tax of 19% on holiday-workers following clarification of this 'misconception' today. We hope that other stakeholders will reassess their views in light of the backpacker default rate clearly not being 32% and withdraw their support likewise. 

“This is all the evidence that Labor and the cross-bench to support the Greens position and oppose the Government’s backpacker tax bill,” he concluded.

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