Multiple Jobs and Residency: A Guide to Claiming the Tax-Free Threshold in Australia


In the dynamic world of employment, many individuals find themselves juggling multiple jobs or experiencing changes in residency status throughout the year. Understanding how to claim the tax-free threshold is crucial to managing your finances efficiently. In this guide, we’ll explore the intricacies of claiming the tax-free threshold in Australia, particularly when dealing with multiple sources of income or residency changes.

Claiming the Tax-Free Threshold:

The tax-free threshold in Australia allows individuals to exclude the first $18,200 of their income from taxation. Each income year can claim this, but the process varies depending on your circumstances.

How to Claim:

– You can claim the tax-free threshold on the first $18,200 earned in the income year.
– The claim is made by providing a tax file number (TFN) declaration to your payer, specifying whether you want to claim or not claim the tax-free threshold.

When to Claim:

– Claiming is advisable if your income is under $18,200, as it reduces the amount of tax withheld.
– Typically, Australian residents for tax purposes can claim the tax-free threshold each income year.

Multiple Jobs or Payers:

– If you have multiple payers simultaneously, generally claim the tax-free threshold from the payer providing the highest salary or wage.
– Inform other payers to withhold tax at a higher rate (no tax-free threshold) to avoid potential tax debts.

Part-Year Residency:

– If you are an Australian resident for only part of the year, you receive a part-year tax-free threshold based on the months in Australia, including the arrival month.
– Non-residents for the full income year cannot claim the tax-free threshold.

Scenarios and Examples:

1. Income $18,200 or Less:
– Claim tax-free threshold from each payer if total income for the year is expected to be $18,200 or less.
– Adjust withholding declaration if income increases above $18,200.

Example: Jeff’s taxable pension and a part-time job, both under $18,200.

2. Too Much Tax Withheld:
– Apply for PAYG withholding variation if too much tax is withheld.
– Provides instructions to payers to reduce withholding.

Example: Sue’s dual jobs result in excess withholding, leading to a tax refund.

3. Too Little Tax Withheld:
– Request payers to increase withholding to cover potential tax liability.
– Prevents end-of-year tax debt.

Example: Pierre’s dual income results in insufficient withholding, leading to a tax debt.


Managing tax obligations with multiple jobs or changing residency status requires careful consideration and proactive measures. By understanding how and when to claim the tax-free threshold, individuals can navigate the complexities of Australia’s tax system more effectively, ensuring a smoother financial journey throughout the income year.