Question for all Australians

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by crazyphil, Apr 7, 2004.

  1. I'm thinking of moving down under when my contract here is completed and I have a few questions:

    -What is the income tax/sales tax rate in Australia?
    -What can I expect to pay for, say, a decent 2 bedroom apartment in the Sydney area (rent per month)?
    -What's considered a "good" salary?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    Hey, Phil. So, considering a move down-under? In answer to your questions:

    - Depends. The top tax bracket is 47% and it kicks in at $62,500 Per Annum. As well as this there is a 10% sales tax (called the GST) levied on a large proportion of goods and services. Have a look here for a bit more info:
    - I'm from Melbourne. Mr. Latimour? Petebass? Sydney is the most expensive Australian city to live in.
    - Depends again. What industry do you work in? What qualifications do you have? Etc, etc.

    It's late and I'm tired so that's the best I can do right now :)
    There are plenty of other Aussies around here though. Let me know what more details you want to know and I'll see what I can do. :cool:
  3. I work in the IT industry (network administration/consulting/network design etc etc). The average salary I'm seeing is 90-100K but that tax rate is killer...reminds me of Canada. I'm not sure where I'd be working (that is, IF I make the move) but more than likely it would be near a large city (Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney) ....which leads me to another question: What's the "best" city to work in?
  4. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Here are the tax rates for this financial year (they are not expected to increase next year):

    Tax rates 2003-04
    Taxable income Tax on this income

    $0 – $6,000 Nil
    $6,001 – $21,600 17c for each $1 over $6,000
    $21,601 - $52,000 $2,652 plus 30c for each $1 over $21,600
    $52,001 – $62,500 $11,772 plus 42c for each $1 over $52,000
    Over $62,500 $16,182 plus 47c for each $1 over $62,500

    The above rates do not include the Medicare levy of 1.5%. The "medicare levy" effectively increases your tax rate by 1.5%.

    The rates are progressive. There is also a GST of 10% on most purchases, but prices quoted in Australia include GST, so you really don't notice it.

    One other thing is that employers are required to contribute 9% of your gross income to a superannuation fund for your benefit. THis has the effect of increasing your salary by 9%, however you cannot access this money until you reach age 65 (or some other condition such as permanent disablement).

    As far as living in Sydney (which is certainly the best city to live in in terms of employment in large industry), the rent prices vary. A two bedroom apartment in the city with a car space can start as low as $500pw and go up to the $1000spw (ie 2-4kpm). As you move into the immediately surrounding suburbs, the rent stays about the same. Once you get further out of the city the prices start to drop to as low as maybe $250pw for a 2 bedroom apartment without views. However part of Sydney's charm is its water views etc so you might want to factor that in.

    As far as a good salary, the average salary in Aus is probably around the $25k-35k, however professionals are more in the the $60-100k mark depending on industry. As a lawyer I can't really say what an IT professional would earn, however I guess $100k wouldnt be unreasonable.

    Salaries and rent costs in other cities are generally 15-20% lower than in Sydney.

    Canberra is not a large city and it is like Washington DC - it is a purpose built city to support the government.
  5. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Sorry in addition there are some other issues which you may need to see a tax adviser about such as the potential of double taxation as a dual resident in your first year of income in Australia.

    As a resident of the Cayman Islands, you are obviously subject to tax there, however you may, in the year in which you move to Australia, be subject to the tax of both the Cayman Islands and Australia as you may meet the definition of "resident" for the purposes of both income tax laws.

    Australia does not have a double tax agreement with the Grand Cayman Islands that may otherwise protect you from double taxation. In addition the patriation of income into Australia may be subject to tax.

    Finally, if you become an AUstralian resident, you may be subject to capital gains tax on income derived from investments you currently hold overseas. Accordingly you may wish to seek advice as to whether these investments should be disposed of prior to becoming a resident of Australia.
  6. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England


    Seriously though, listen to Mark.
  7. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Well yeah, if you want to play in a few gigs then maybe Melbourne is the place to go. Sydney's live scene if pretty bad - compared to Melbourne.

    I lived in Melbourne for 12 years and it has a great live music scene, a good variety of bars / pubs / clubs and the best coffee, pizza and souvlaki in Australia :)
  8. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    I was just teasing. I've lived in Melbourne for the last 9 years or so. I've never lived in Sydney but have spent a fair amount of time up there.

    I also work in the I.T industry for one of the largest integrators in the region (Dimension Data). The salary range you quoted is certainly not unreasonable. Mark is correct when he says there is more work in Sydney. Particularly at the high end of town.

    What is it with coffee outside Melbourne!? I just want a reasonable latte, damnit! It's not that hard. :mad:
  9. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I couldn't get a word in......... well answered Mark.

    I must say that I was STUNNED when I was in Melbourne by how cheap your housing is compared to ours. Commercial rents are also much lower, which is why Melbourne's business establishments on average are much larger, inclusive of everything from pubs and clubs through to retail outlets. I think I'm the only Sydney-sider who evern went to Melbourne and liked it :) The weather sux though. And you all drive like the proverbial Taxi driver....... but I still liked it.
  10. There is no tax in the Cayman Islands. I'm a Canadian citizen so getting a visa shouldn't be a problem and I have no overseas assets (backpack full of clothes over my shoulder, SKB rack in my right hand, bass in the left hand...these constitute my assets) so double taxation in that sense is out of the question. When you say 500pw, you mean $500 per week? That sounds awfully high. I guess in the grand scheme of things its much like living in Canada. Taxed through the anus.
  11. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Well we were never going to win that competition then, were we? Any tax is going to seem high to you :)

    $500per week is high but that's for something dead smack in the heart of the city. Living a little bit further out brings the cost of housing right down. I'm 20mins drive from the CBD in a beautiful beachside suburb, and I pay half that.

    You can also save truckloads on housing if you're prepared to share. I've got a copy of the local musician's street magazine, and there are adds in here for share accom not far from Sydney for around $100 per week. But that'll only get you one room to yourself.
  12. Listen to what Mark said about the taxes - he obviously knows what he's talking about.

    Lifestyles vary greatly from city to city, which is another to consider. Rental prices even moreso. So many southerners are moving up here to Brissie because you can literally buy two houses for the price of one property in a similar location. But, because South-East Queensland/North-East NSW is growing so quickly, house and land prices have doubled in a matter of a couple of years. I live just south of Brissie and prices in my area have gone up 3 fold.

    As far as the rent prices go, I think that to give a more accurate estimate, we need to know how far from the CBD are looking, what sort of house/flat/apartment etc. If you're willing to share a place 15 mins from the CBD, you can find rent for $80 a week, if you're by yourself. Obviously things go up a lot more with wife + kids, closer proximity to the city etc. Give us a rough estimate of what sorta place you'll need and I'll sure we can work out prices for each major city.

  13. What's the CBD?

    It would be just me; no wife and no kids. I currently share and have no problems sharing as long as I get my own room/bathroom and the place is big enough that my roommate and I don't have to be in each others' faces every day.
  14. miccheck1516

    miccheck1516 Guest

    Feb 15, 2003
    Cantral Business District..... I guess that GCSE in geography helped me, what once???
  15. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    The downside of moving to Brisbane is that you have to live in Queensland ;)
  16. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    *raises hand for melbourne*
    Melbourne owns. We have bass centre. :rock:
  17. `ash


    Feb 26, 2004
    a vote for Melbourne here.
    I go up and visit some friends in sydney and i have to say, no offence, but Sydney is a crazy town. The weather... quote Crowded House "Four seasons in one day", its way over priced for everything (food, rents, entertainment, most things) and forget about trying to drive anywhere unless your prepared to get into an accident. All in all, its just more of the Syd vs Melb debate.
    Whenever they come to melb they always say how relaxed it is.
  18. Come on will love Sydney,Melbourne or Brisbane, and hey if you dont, you can always go to New Zealand right?

    IT is a bit soft in Sydney now, but like any industry, if you can walk it and talk it, you will do well......

    Like Pete, I live in a beach suburb 20 mins north of Sydney City, we pay 1700 per month for a beautiful large duplex(half a house)kick a football to the beach though, if your into that.....

    check out real eatate prices on,

    Lets have a beer one day mate....... :cool:

  19. Im a melbourne kid, and ive been to sydney and brisbane and canberra and while they may be more commercial and entertainment focused. You cant beat melbourne for culture, live music, cafes, the underground music scene (great for small/unsigned bands) AFL footy, and the Albert Park F1 Grand Prix. :D