Pink Cow

Frequently Asked Questions


The Australian Taxation Office (aka, Tax Office, ATO) is the Australian Government statutory agency and the principal revenue collection body for the Australian Government. The ATO has responsibility for administering the Australian federal taxation system and superannuation legislation. Responsibility for the operations of the ATO are within the portfolio of the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia.

A Tax File Number (or TFN) is a 9 digit number that is issued to you on request by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). The number is unique and identifies you to the ATO. In order to work in Australia you must have a Tax File Number. Your Tax File Number is yours for life.

An Australian Business Number (or ABN) is an 11 digit number that is issued to you upon request by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Like a TFN this number is unique and identifies your business to the ATO. Whilst working in Australia as a sub-contractor (farming, labouring, etc) you may be required by your employer to obtain an ABN.

Your behaviour (living and working) will be used in determining your residency status. No one factor will be decisive, and many will be interrelated. The best way to make an assessment is by completing the quick ATO test on the link below:

ATO residency test

Yes. Australian Tax Law requires any person, whether a permanent or temporary resident, who has worked in Australia to lodge an income tax return.

Our fee starts at a flat rate of $110 inc. GST depending on the the complexity of the tax return. This is taken from the refund itself so you pay nothing upfront.

There is additional $50 fee for each schedule such as rental, capital gains and business income schedules.

The amount of your tax refund will depend on your individual circumstances. Things taken into account when determining are your gross income, the amount of tax deducted from your income, any allowances withheld and whether or not you have any work related expenses.

There are various categories of tax deductible expenses which you can claim. Click on the relevant expense which will take you through to the ATO rules. If you’re unsure - please email your circumstances and our team of tax agents will advise.

This is the period from the 1st July to the 30th June.

A PAYG Payment Summary (formerly called a Group Certificate) is a document you receive from your employer once you either finish working for them or once the financial year ends. It includes details of your gross earnings for the full or part financial year, shows how much tax was withheld and includes details of any allowances received from your employer. The PAYG Payment Summary also includes your name, Tax File Number, your employer's name and their ABN.

A statement of earnings is a document provided by your employer. This is normally provided as an interim measure until your PAYG Payment Summary is issued. A statement of earnings is produced on letter head from your employer and details the same information as a PAYG Payment Summary would. It includes your name, Tax File Number, Gross earnings, tax withheld and allowances.

We understand that whilst you are travelling it will be easy to misplace your documents. Just keep a record of the phone numbers of your employers and we will retrieve these documents for you.

If you are lodging your income tax return at the end of the tax year or for previous years then this should take around 2 to 3 weeks to process. If you are leaving Australia and claiming a mid-year tax refund, this will take around 8 weeks.

Pinkcow will keep you updated on the progress of your claim. You can also call or email our office anytime and one of our team will be able to provide you with the status of your return.

For international transfers, pinkcow uses a third party broker to obtain the best possible rates for customers - much more competitive than high street bank rates. As a result of this, pinkcow charges an administration fee of $50 (inc. GST) for each international transfer.