Expats from non-Scandinavian countries will find tax rates are high in Australia. While income tax rates vary greatly and are comparable to many European nations, standard duties on purchased items are well above international averages. This high tax rate is counteracted by quality social services, a wide range of expenses eligible for deduction, and a Pay As You Go withholding system that makes high end-of-the-year tax bills extremely uncommon.
If you are in Melbourne at the behest of your employer, they will likely be responsible for ensuring your income, tax and other moving-related financial affairs. The Human Resources department of your company should be able to answer any questions you have pertaining to your income and any withholdings they facilitate. If after speaking with them you are still confused, contact the Australian Taxation Office, which has some of the friendliest and most helpful staff of any government agency.
As an expat, it is not advisable that you lodge your own tax returns (unless you are a tax accountant) for the first year you are in the country. The rules can be complicated, and vary according to your residency status (as some non-permanent residents are still considered residents for tax purposes). First time filers are recommended to seek the aid of a tax advisor or accountant familiar with Australian Tax law and policy. For information on obtaining such services, see our Tax Advisors / Accountants section.
Australian Taxation Office
Casselden Place, 2 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
13 28 61
Appointments highly encouraged.