Thi Tran Author

Is Australia a land of opportunity for international students?

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

An international education in Australia continuously attracts thousands and thousands of students every year from overseas, especially from Asian countries. Australia is one of the top 10 countries with a high standard of living and worth to live. Because of that, it is a land of hope and a land of opportunities for overseas students to explore themselves. There are several of international students, who have been successfully obtaining PR or citizenship and have already called Australia as their second home. However, the dark corners of international education are still being ignored.

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Some students are still living in cramped and crowded illegally shared houses, where there are more than 15 tenants in a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre. Transforming bathrooms or study rooms into a 150-180 dollar single room per week or sharing 150 each for four in a tiny and stuffed room is still happening, to lessen their costs when studying in large cities. So simply a bed, a toilet, a kitchen and a washing machine could be enough to live for the rest of the 3-to-4-year-degree course.

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Working underpaid sadly seems like a common fact for some international students, who lack confidence and lacking proficient speaking skills in English. They work completely hard in restaurants or fruit shops or farms just to save a penny to pay for expensive living lifestyle and also their institution fees. SO, HAVE YOU EVER ASKED YOURSELF, HOW MUCH THEY GET PAID, WHEN DROPPING BY ANY DINE-IN RESTAURANTS?

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Cultural differences make it hard for international students could to adopt and get close to local friends. A simple, funny childhood cartoon or the name of the local footy club could be a brand new thing for an international student since these are not a part of their understanding. Local students living and studying within their neighbourhood tend to focus more on their career rather than making more friends. That is why sometimes international students just stay within their community to feel a small sense of belonging.

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A land of opportunity could be somehow a question without any articulate answers. When receiving an office number calling on your phone, the first question of “are you An Australian or NewZealand citizen? Or “do you have PR?” immediately disappoints all of the students, who have an HD qualification degree or loads of related industrial experience. What could these vulnerable students do to survive if these problems are unresolved, so they might end up with an unrelated career job and an underpaid position to survive?

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Well, by acknowledging these challenges and hardships, if you give up, you might be unable to find a diamond mine like others international students. In order to make the right decision in your life when studying in overseas, you must conduct research and have a clear goal and mind about the ups and downs when living independently in Australia. Trusting yourself, working hard and being confident are the keys to overcoming the hardships.

 

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What types of food do Olympians eat?

Written by Health

It’s now a couple of weeks into semester and you might be running low on energy. With Rio 2016 done, here’s a list of food items inspired by the athletes.

For the elite athletics, food is just more than a form of art, but a source of energy. It boosts performance and maintains an active and focused mindset for days intense training sessions and exhausted games. Thus, a typical Olympian requires more than 3 prominent meals a day with an extra post-workout snack after training.

DWAYNE JOHNSON – THE ROCK is an extreme eater consuming more than 15000 kcals a day for 150 days

HOLLYWOOD - NOVEMBER 22: Actor Dwayne Johnson arrives at the "Faster" Los Angeles Premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on November 22, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

HOLLYWOOD – NOVEMBER 22: Actor Dwayne Johnson arrives at the “Faster” Los Angeles Premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on November 22, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Black beans or any types of beans

Damaris Phillip's Coconut Lime Black Beans for Taco Tuesday as seen on Food Network's Southern At Heart

Damaris Phillip’s Coconut Lime Black Beans for Taco Tuesday as seen on Food Network’s Southern At Heart

Similar to almond, it is the highest nutritionist and vibe for the body, which keeps the athletes feeling fuller for longer.

Almond or peanut butter

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According to an American journal of clinical nutrition, almond contains 20% fewer calories than other food but have the same amount of energy and protein as well as micronutrients to meet the requirement. This allows the athletes to avoid losing power or skipping meals and to prevent being dehydrated.

Water

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Water is an essential element in the body as 70% of the body is water. Water keeps the body hydrated and flushes any toxins from the inner system.

Green tea

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Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that aids weight loss, a higher metabolic rate for the body and physical performance enhancement. This is done by mobilising fatty acids from fat tissues. The caffeine in tea also increases the concentration of neurotransmitters and other neurons to increase concentration and help memory.

Salmon

GMO-Salmon

Salmon contains Omega 3s and fatty acids to regulate the heart rhythm. It frees any blockages in arteries, avoiding heart-related diseases as well as obesity.

Greek Yogurt

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Delicious Greek yogurt is an ideal post-workout indulgence for the athletes. Yogurt replenishes glycogen stores and provides protein for the small tears incurred in muscles during training sessions. Greek yogurt has high protein and low sugar level which keeps energy levels high during grueling workouts.

Eggs

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Eating eggs can give an additional benefit in weight management. Egg yolk is a source of vitamins and minerals such as zinc. Without an adequate amount of zinc, it may leave you feeling sluggish, decrease your immune function and delay healing.

Oatmeal

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Oatmeal brings a spike of energy levels giving the body sufficient and long-term fuel, helping the athlete to maintain peak performance and concentration.

However, Olympic athletes all have their cheat day as any other human.

 

 

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UPDATE: No Fines For Late Census form Submission

Written by Editor’s Picks, News

Last night around 5:00 pm Sydney time, the website abs.gov.au stopped responding and the phone lines were down because millions of people who are living, working and studying in Australia were trying to submit their Census form before its due date.

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And at 8:00 pm, the website completely crashed because it was overloaded. The system breakdown had left behind numbers of confused and terrified living inhabitants, and the census issue was all over social media platforms last night across Australia with the hashtag #censusfail. Some international students gave up after continually logging and refreshing the Internet server and seeking friends’ assistance.

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So is there a fine after all?

After acknowledging the problem, the Census Australia Facebook page has continuously updated their situation and announced “There will be no penalties for completing the Census after August 9. There’s still plenty of time to complete the Census.”

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According to Chris Libreri, general manager of the Census and Statistical Network division from news.com.au: “No one has ever been fined for being late with their Census form, the fines are only if you eyes-open refuse to a Census collector.”

ABS has informed people that the final date for completing the Census form is 23rd September 2016. So there is still plenty of time to fill in your accurate information and submit it without a 180 AUD per day fine.

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What if I accidentally threw the letter in the bin or I haven’t received the form or the code?

1/ A Census collector could knock on your door to ask you to complete the form.

2/You can contact the Census Inquiry Service 1300 214 531 (you might have to wait another two days for a call back)

This was how Facebook was done back in the day (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3717565/Australian-Census-2016-means-1800-fines-personal-information-kept.html)

 form (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3717565/Australian-Census-2016-means-1800-fines-personal-information-kept.html)

3/ You can revisit the website to order the form and code online

If you would like help filling out the form, give the Translation and Interpreter Service a call on 131 450.

 What exactly is the Census?

It's this thing (http://www.businessinsider.com.au/away-on-census-night-2016-8)

It’s this thing (http://www.businessinsider.com.au/away-on-census-night-2016-8)

It is a legal form that must be completed by every individual living in Australia on the night. The information collected creates an extensive database of details such as marriage status, religion (the only question that is optional), racial background and income. This helps determine where taxpayer money will be best spent – in health, transport and infrastructure, education and so on.

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International Student suicides due to Permanent Residence Visa

Written by News, Student Life

According to SBS Australia, an Indian international student – Deepark Singh, committed suicide in his apartment last week Sunday. From close sources, Singe felt pressured by an inability to gain Permanent Resident Visa in Australia because of the updated Skilled Occupations List.

Pinterest: Émilie Asselin

Pinterest: Émilie Asselin

Deepark Singh had a dream to settle down in Australia. An education agent in India advised that studying would be a pathway to pursue his dream. Once Singe finished his diploma degree in Community Welfare he hoped to gain Permanent Residence in Australia after his education. Unfortunately, the new Skilled Occupations List changed annually and his major was removed from the list, rendering him ineligible to meet the PR requirement application.

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Later on, Deepark got married to an Australia woman and received a de-facto visa status. He could then apply for PR and Citizenship in Australia. However, the Immigration Department denied his application and this led to an intense sense of frustration and depression. Deepark’s experience is just one of the stories of people who are struggling to seek a better life in Australia.

What is Permanent Residency in Australia?

An Australian Permanent Resident Visa allows an individual to work, live and study without any restrictions in Australia for 5 years. The person gains an automatic right of entry to the country at any time. However, after the time period ends, the PR visa holder must leave or apply to re-enter Australia. But, one can apply for Australian Citizenship certificate in advance one year after holding a PR visa.

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Australia is considered one of the top countries to live in due to the many benefits that a PR holder can gain. The individual not only has a right to vote in the Australian election, but also gain benefits such healthcare, education, employment and other social securities in Australia.

 

How to apply for Permanent Resident Visa in Australia?

There are several of ways to apply for PR in Australia. Some options include options such as SkillSelect, Regional Employment, Bringing family with you, Sponsored or nominated work visa options, etc. However, you should always conduct in-depth research or seek professional advice and follow the steps accurately. For more information, please visit the Australian Government – Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

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If you’re experiencing any struggles, or know someone who is, be sure to contact your university counselor (sessions are free and confidential). Or, you can call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 or contact international suicide hotlines here.

Living in wealthy countries and having a good life is everyone’s dream.

But keep moving forward and never give up when chasing after your vision, your goals. Remember that everyone chose different paths, so don’t stress out or compare with each other. 

Great things take time to come, be tough and be patient! Every life is worth it.

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How do you make money from your study notes?

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

Some students do not know that attending all the lectures, all the tutorials and writing heaps of notes with tips and tricks for assignments or exams during the semester could help them to buy a flight ticket and pay for other expenses for their overseas or domestic trips during winter or summer break. Thousands of university and college students around Australia have been cashing out by selling and exchanging their lecture notes, exam notes, exam materials or tutorial notes from 35 dollars to more than 1200 dollars, depending on their quality through a few platforms.

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In order to upload and sell your records, you need to register your personal details on the platform. Your notes could be in English or other languages, depending on the buyers’ interest, some students could receive between 160 to 220 dollars for a 1000 word note written in Chinese. So, being international students or students speaking more than two languages could help you to increase your notes financial value.HOMER

Note purchasers can also give a rating and rank your note’s quality, which you could use as a reference for the future. The higher the ranking, the more trusted and valuable your notes, as more students are willing to purchase or download your notes.

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Trading records does not mean selling your property or cheating; it is just another useful method of helping each other to study, as some students are unable to attend lectures because of unexpected circumstances. It is a good way that you can help others to have a glance at the subjects that other or prospective students are interested in or intend to enroll in for the next semester.This exchanging and selling are very popular among other universities around Australia, so you can easily find the notes that you want.

Here are some of the platforms where you can freely sell your notes and inject some pocket money directly into your bank account:

1/Sell Study Notes – Stuvia

2/Buy and sell great uni notes​ –StudentVIP Notes

 

3/Nexus Notes

4/Thinkswap

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Study hard and receive HD’s and also unlimited dollar figures in your bank account.

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Sweet Treats for Winter in Sydney?

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

It might be ‘common’ that some of your friends do not like chocolate, but for sure they would never say no to any sugary and yummy desserts. Sydney is getting colder and colder, wrapping yourself in a cosy bed with heaps of thermo layers is the best idea ever to avoid the night cold. However, you should think twice when seeing some of the mouth-watering sweet treats posted on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat by your friends on a Friday night out.

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It is the hardest job ever researching and selecting the yummiest dessert places in Sydney. However, I can finally share a few of my favourite ones, where you can chit-chat and enjoy the sweet- affairs:

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Doughnuts @ Doughnut time

Coming all the way from Brisbane, all of the doughnuts are cute overloaded with a decent, colourful and creative modern look. No matter how much I am afraid of gaining weight, the temptation just keeps you returning time and time again.

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Watermelon cake @ Black Star Pastry

A light, soft and creamy slice of watermelon cake with a rose essence at Black Star Pastry is the reason why people keep travelling back and forward to one of the most livable, young and energetic towns in Sydney, Newtown. You can grab a cup of hot chocolate or tea to balance its taste.

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Matcha Crossaint @ Topimpressionbakery

Top Impression Bakery is located in Wolli Creek, just outside the train station. This new establishment has lots of interesting pastries such as apple and rhubarb danishes or salted caramel croissants. The Matcha Crossaint is the top seller as well as my favourite!! It has a crispy outer and a strong matcha custard. I end up with lots of tissues on the table just to finish one matcha, because of the yummy runny custard.

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Chocolate Truffle @The Choc Pot

Right in the centre of Sydney, a well-deserved queue is common at the Choc Pot. The Secret Garden, rich dark chocolate layers, fluffy white chocolate, crispy goodness on the top, is a taste of heaven. The signature Choc Pot and Mr Souff are rich, chocolaty and moist with salted caramel and ice-cream on the side. You should also get a pot of tea to elevate and balance its sweetness.

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@KOI Dessert Bar

A busy and beautiful alley in Chippendale, next to the Central Park building, called Spice Alley, you can find a modern sculpture-looking and delicious sweet treat for any sweet-lovers at KOI Dessert Bar, owned by Reynold – a very talented dessert lover of Masterchef Australia 2015. You can make a booking with 2 or 3-course desserts or simply grab one of the treats such as vanilla yoghurt pannacotta, nomtella, espresso mousse or coconut mousse.

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Winter is here now, so screen-shot it, save it or share it, so you will not waste time searching for sweet places. Keep yourself warm and indulge in these sugary and rich desserts.


 

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New-Update For PR (Permanent Resident) Application

Written by Editor’s Picks, News

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) have released the new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for 2016-17. This list will be in effect from 1st July 2016.

Two new occupations have been added to the SOL from 1st July 2016, these are:

  •  Orthotist or Prosthetist (ANZSCO 251912)
  • Audiologist (ANZSCO 252711)

A few of occupations have been removed from the SOL list from 1st July 2016, these are:

  • Mining Engineer (Excluding Petroleum) (ANZSCO 233611)
  • Petroleum Engineer (ANZSCO 233612)
  • Metallurgist (ANZSCO 234912)
  • Environmental Health Officer (ANZSCO 251311)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Adviser (ANZSCO 251312)
  • Dental Hygienist (ANZSCO 411211)
  • Dental Prosthetist (ANZSCO 411212)
  • Dental Technician (ANZSCO 411213)
  • Dental Therapist (ANZSCO 411214).

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There are 4777 places for accountants in the 2016-2017 program year, but half of the places will be set for applicants in 2015-2016 and the rest will be for 2016-2017 applications. The situation is also the same with the occupation ceiling of chef’s applications.

 

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For more information about the Occupation List and Ceiling: Australian Government – Department of Immigration and Border Protection

 

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University of Sydney Art School merges with UNSW

Written by Editor’s Picks, News

Recent changes have occured for students at the Sydney College of the Arts (SCA), University of Sydney’s visual art faculty.

Students taking art courses and degrees at SCA will be transferred to the University of New South Wales, starting first semester of 2017. The consultation and communication process on this agreement is ongoing with SCA Staff.

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Undergraduate students at SCA were informed about this change on Tuesday. The students can choose between continuing the degree with SCA until graduation or transfer to a UNSW degree/course (UNSW’s Art & Design school), which will be run by UNSW.

However, for SCA Master’s and PhD students, there has been no confirmation as of yet regarding whether UNSW or SCA will supervise their theses and projects.

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If this agreement with UNSW does not proceed, the University is planning to transfer SCA to the main campus under the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, according to Deputy Vice-Chancellor Tyrone Carlin.

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Why International Students should Travel around Australia?

Written by Student Life


Australia is in the top 10 countries worth to live and to travel, apart from the significant economic growth. You would be surprised to know that Australian and New Zealand are always the two final destinations of most European backpackers after exploring the rich cultures and authentic vibe of Southeast Asia countries. The spectacular beauty of nature, red-earthed desert, sunny beaches, rugged national parks and the vibrant multicultural cities have made Australia becoming one of the most popular destinations for backpacker and budget travellers.

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As an international student, it’s pretty amzing to spend 3-4 years of your degree in Australia, so why not grab the chance to explore it? Travelling can also help understand the culture since  Australians young and old love backpacking, hiking and the outdoors. Sounds like a typical Hollywood movie, but it’s entirely accurate.

Here are some destinations in Australia that you should visit during your summer and winter holidays or even during your mid-semester break:

Great Ocean Road, Victoria

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Great Ocean Road is listed as an Australian National Heritage, ab243 kilometres stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford. It might take around 3-4 hours drive from the city centre of Melbourne, and the view is spectacular. Hiring a car is the best solution so you can drop by some small town around the coast for a cup of coffee, take photos or just for fresh air. Embrace yourself when driving along the coastal road, it is an unforgettable, thrilling and almost endless ride.

Kangaroo Island, South Australia

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Sometimes you are wondering why you cannot see people ride kangaroos to schools or the offices in the CBD. Well, visiting Kangaroo Island with its diverse wildlife of kangaroos, koalas, wallabies and bird life could make your dream come true. It’s only a few hours drive from Adelaide to the South, but you also need to catch a ferry to get there.

Imagine: Fishing at noon for dinner, camping at night under the stars and waking up with kangaroos hopping outside of your tent, what more could you ask for?

Uluru, Northern Territory

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Uluru is a massive sandstone in the heart of Northern Territory’s Red Centre desert so you can take a 4 hour flight from Sydney to Alice Springs then another 2 hour drive to the destination. If you have heard the story about the famous DINGO CASE in Australia, you should visit here to see the dingos with your very own eyes. Booking a tour is suggested, where full accommodation, camel riding, foods, drinks and other hiking facilities are prepared for you (it’s a bit unsafe sleeping alone in the middle of a massive desert).

Daintree National Park

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Daintree National Park is a national park in Far North Queensland, which you can easily drive from CBD Queensland. Trekking and hiking are the most common activities in the national park, which gives you more insight about the various plants and beauties of nature. Kayaking is also another option if you have a steady hand to paddle and if you know how to swim. It is suggested to book a camping site where it is safe from Australia’s dangerous wildlife such as crocodiles, spiders and snakes, rather than individually camping without permission.

 

So plan ahead, pack your bags and set off to see the sights alone or with your friends! Make sure to stay safe and have fun! What are you waiting for?

 

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Simple Steps To Apply For Your Tax Return

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life, Tips & Tricks

30th June and 1st July are coming, it is a splendid time for you to lodge your tax return. But should you lodge your tax return and how do you lodge it? Well, here are some steps to help you lessen the hassle.

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Why do you need to submit your tax?

During the financial year, your casual/part-time/full-time income has been reduced a small amount by tax, depending on your income status. If you do not know whether you should lodge a tax return, check these selection criteria:

For example, you are an international student with a tax file number, working casually at a bar. Before starting the job, you are required to sign a few documents including a tax file paper. So every time you receive a payment transferred to your bank account, there is a section of tax deduction in your pay slips. So at the end of the financial year, you are eligible to proceed with a tax return.

If you earn less than 18,200 AUD dollars a year, and you paid tax during the financial year, you likely to get all of the tax back.

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However, if you are an international student with a tax file number, working part time in a coffee shop, no papers had been signed between both sides, and you receive cash in hand every week for your payment; you are not eligible to lodge a tax return. This is because the tax department does not have any tax record of your income.

So if you earn less than 18,2000 AUD dollars a year, and you have had no tax withheld from your income, you might not be able to lodge your tax return. However, you still need to notify the ATO with the Non-lodgment advice

How do you lodge your tax return?

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a/You need these documents:

Identity documents (passport or birth certificate or citizenship certificate)

Employment and income documents

b/You need myDeductions:

This is the ATO’s app to keep track of your income and expenditure, checking the tax return that you could claim.

c/Methods:

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Lodge Online

  1. In order to lodge your tax return, you should have a tax file number with some identity and income documents
  2. Visit ATO.GOV.AU and create myGov account
  3. Sign into myGov and follow the instructions 

If you have any trouble lodging your tax return online, you can make an appointment by calling 13 28 61 for TAX HELP, running across the country from July to October. (However, you should check your income status). If you need help with translation and interpretation, please phone 13 14 50 for further assistance.

The online system, myTax, is available  24 hours and only takes 2 weeks to receive the refund.

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Lodge a paper tax return

  1.  Order a paper tax return through Publication Ordering Service or call 1300 720 092
  2.  Fill in your required information (personal identification and income documents)
  3.  Post to Australian Taxation Office ( GPO Box 9845 IN YOUR CAPITAL CITY)

This method takes 50 business days for the refund.

Lodge with a registered tax agent

You can also lodge your tax return through an agent. You are required to pay an administration fee for application preparation and the lodgement process.

Once you submit your tax, just wait and check your bank account later and then you can indulge yourself (like that dessert you were thinking of getting)

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