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For tax purposes, a person is considered a non-resident if they have come to Australia and stayed less than 183 days in a 12-month period, or do not have an “enduring relationship” with Australia.

A non-resident is liable for tax on income for personal services carried out in Australia, and on other payments from Australia sources.

Non-resident employees are taxed PAYG on their wages just as resident employees are. However, a non-resident may claim exemptions under either a ‘double taxation agreement’, or ‘the 92-day ‘ rule.

If you hire and pay a non-resident individual or company as a contractor, withholding tax needs to be deducted from payments for the specified contract activities or services. Employers are also required to deduct withholding tax from payments to non-resident entertainers, unless the performance:

  • is part of a sponsored cultural programme for the government of Australia or a foreign country or
  • forms part of a programme of an overseas non-profit organisation or
  • relates to a game or sport in which the participants are official representatives of the organisation administering the game or sport in an overseas country

A non-resident who is carrying on or intends to carry on a taxable activity may elect to register for GST. Depending on the value of supplies made in Australia, there are also circumstances in which a non-resident may also be required to register for GST. Supplies are deemed to be made in Australia if the goods are in Australia at the time of supply, or if the services are physically performed in Australia.