The government is cracking down on backpackers to make sure they pay tax

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Backpackers will soon find it more difficult to travel Australia with changes to the way they are taxed.

The federal budget announced a change the tax residency rules to treat most working holiday makers temporarily in Australia as non-residents for tax purposes.

“Therefore, they will no longer be able to access the tax-free threshold,” says the budget papers.

This means that backpackers will be taxed at 32.5% from their first dollar of income up to $80,000.

The measure if one of several which tighten tax rules.

The Government is introducing arrangements to ensure a fairer HELP scheme by requiring Australians residing overseas to repay their HELP debts.

Another is a crack down on Australians who go overseas and so avoid paying back their HECS debt from university study.

“There is no good reason why Australians living overseas earning high incomes cannot pay back what they owe to Australia,” according to the budget papers.

The new arrangements will apply from January 2016 to both new and existing debts.

People going overseas for more than six months will be required to register with the Australian Tax Office. Those already overseas will have until July 2017 to register.

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