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Liberal senator urges action on ‘backpacker tax’

Tasmanian senator Jonathan Duniam has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to intervene in the controversial changes to the backpacker tax scheme. 

Tax&Compliance Reporter 27 September 2016
— 1 minute read

The government has delayed the 32.5 per cent tax for six months, following extensive opposition to the proposal.


“Classifying backpackers as non-residents and imposing a 32.5 per cent rate on the first $80,000 of earnings makes Australia uncompetitive compared to other countries, including New Zealand, in key industry sectors such as horticulture and tourism,” Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand said earlier this month.

“A concessional, easy to comply with tax regime is warranted for backpackers, using learnings from Australia’s tax treatment of participants in the seasonal labour mobility program and other countries.”

Mr Duniam has been lobbying against the tax – which has been met with strong opposition from the agricultural community – and now wants the Prime Minister to intervene and make a final decision, according to ABC reports.

"What I am doing is appealing to the Prime Minister to provide that certainty – to give our economy the certainty needed going into this harvest season," he said.

"Certainty for me is a final decision so that people know what we are going to be playing with moving forward," he said.

"Canberra needs to get out and hear what the real world and the rest of the country is thinking and feeling about certain issues and that's why I am being so vocal about this issue."


Liberal senator urges action on ‘backpacker tax’
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