337 - Employment
Published January 21, 2008
US family members may work in Australia without the need of obtaining a working visa; however, the rules are too complex to summarize in this format. SOFA status family members are ALWAYS considered non-residents for tax purposes, and as such, the non-resident tax rate is 49.2%. Note, this does not apply to family members who are employed by the US Government i.e., working at the US Embassy. SOFA family members will also need to obtain an Australian tax number and file Australian tax returns if working for an Australian employer. Diplomatic status family members may work subject to certain rules, but most importantly, they are considered residents for tax purposes and enjoy a $5,000 (Australian Dollars) exemption and are only taxed at 32%. Please note, most employees must contribute to a mandatory retirement plan called superannuation, which can be "cashed-in" when the family member departs Australia.