Gov­ern­ment’s back­packer tax chal­lenged in le­gal ac­tion

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - News -

THE va­lid­ity of the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s Back­packer Tax has been brought into ques­tion fol­low­ing le­gal ac­tion started on be­half of work­ing hol­i­day­mak­ers from eight coun­tries, in­clud­ing the United King­dom and United States.

The ac­tion against the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has been ini­ti­ated by Taxback.com, an in­ter­na­tional tax ac­count­ing firm that pro­vides global tax re­fund and tax re­turn ser­vices. Sep­a­rate to the ac­tion, Taxback.com has also agreed to en­ter into di­a­logue with the Australian Gov­ern­ment fol­low­ing con­struc­tive cor­re­spon­dence with the Australian Gov­ern­ment So­lic­i­tor in an ef­fort to re­solve the is­sue out­side court.

The com­pany ar­gues that the Back­packer Tax in­tro­duced in Jan­uary 2017 con­tra­venes non-dis­crim­i­na­tion clauses built into tax treaties that Aus­tralia has signed with eight coun­tries: the UK, the US, Ger­many, Fin­land, Chile, Ja­pan, Nor­way and Turkey.

These clauses pro­hibit un­equal tax treat­ment of cit­i­zens from these coun­tries, in­clud­ing work­ing hol­i­day­mak­ers, com­pared with Aus­tralians.

In­ter­na­tional tax treaties signed by Aus­tralia over­ride do­mes­tic tax laws.

Taxback.com com­mer­cial di­rec­tor Eileen Dev­ereux said the ac­tion was an im­por­tant step to pro­tect for­eign work­ers and Aus­tralia’s rep­u­ta­tion as a work­ing hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion.

“It is our pref­er­ence to re­solve this is­sue through a me­di­ated so­lu­tion and we look for­ward to col­lab­o­rat­ing on this,” she said.

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