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Zone Tax Offset Guide Australia

Pssst… are you working and living in a remote area, or have you served in overseas forces such as the Australian Defence Force or UN? If you have, you might be eligible for the zone tax offset (ZTO).

It’s nothing to scoff at, if you’re eligible you absolutely don’t want to miss out. 

By claiming the zone tax offset when you’re eligible, you’re minimising the amount of tax you pay and maximising the money you have to spend on the things you love. By using our specialised and easy-to-use platform, One Click Life puts you in touch with a professional that will help you apply the zone tax offset. 

If you’re a little unsure about the zone tax offset, have a quick read-up of this article and then head to your sign-in and get your Tax Return optimised today. 

What is a tax offset? 

According to the ATO, a tax offset is: 

“A sum that reduces the tax you pay (known as your tax payable) on your taxable income. Your taxable income is your total income minus any deductions you claim.” – The Australian Taxation Office 

Let’s simplify this…

In layman’s terms, this means you will only reduce the amount of tax you actually have to pay, and you won’t get a cash refund with a tax offset/cut. It only “cuts” the amount of tax you have to pay. 

What is the zone tax offset? 

The zone tax offset is a method the Australian Taxation Office uses to make the burden of living in isolated areas of Australia easier. 

Typically in these isolated zones, the general cost of living is much higher than in capital cities and places with infrastructure. The zone tax offset gives an eligible Australian significant tax savings in order to combat the cost of living.

If you think you’re eligible, let us give you a hand. 

Who can claim zone offset? 

You can claim the zone tax offset if you live in a “zoned area” as outlined by the Australian Taxation Office. 

You can look up if your area is a zoned area here. 

To be eligible, you must meet two criteria: 

  • Your usual place of residence is in zoned area 
  • It was your usual place of residence for 183 days or more during the tax year 

What about FIFO workers? 

Unfortunately, FIFO workers can no longer claim the zone tax offset. The key difference is you have to live in a zoned area, and not just work in the zoned area. Your usual place of residence must be in a zoned area. 

If you need help with this, drop us a question.  

Can you be eligible if you lived in a zone for less than 183 days? 

Sometimes you can be eligible for the zone offset by ATO even if you lived less than 183 days of the year in a zone. To be eligible, you MUST meet all of the following conditions: 

  • You must have lived in a zone for an ongoing period of less than five years after the 1st of July 2014 
  • The total days you lived there on the first year, combined with the current year equals 183 or more
  • You could not and did not claim tax zone offset in your first year 

How is the zone tax offset calculated?

How much is zone A tax rebate? How much is my zone tax offset if I’m in zone B? If you’re eligible for the zone tax offset these will definitely be some of the questions you’re asking yourself. 

If you want a loose estimate of how much your offset might be, you can use the Australian Taxation Office’s area calculator here. 

However, if you want an accurate estimate, using One Click Life you can get help from a qualified accountant in no time at all without the hassle of annoying booking times or paperwork. Find out your zone tax offset today. 

Is zone tax offset refundable? 

The tax offset meaning, sometimes called a tax rebate, is responsible for directly reducing the amount of tax you pay. They can indeed reduce your tax payable to zero, but they are often non-refundable. 

This is no different with the zone tax offset, and it can only reduce your tax payable to zero. This means if your offset is $500 and your tax payable is $250, your offset will only reduce your tax by $250 and you will not receive a further $250 as a refund. 

If you need help claiming the zone tax offset – book a meeting with us 

If you’re needing some help to claim your tax offset, you should let us help you. We deal with tens of thousands of Tax Returns every year, a lot of which need some sort of offset help in one way or another. 

Let us help you so you can claim the biggest tax offset that you can.

You can also claim your tax agent/tax return fees back on tax (this includes One Click Life!), so why wouldn’t you let us help you minimise your tax and maximise your money?

One Click Life offers online Tax Returns at your fingertips in an easy-to-use platform run by industry professionals. Our Tax Returns can take less than 5 minutes!

Taxes, Health Insurance, and Wills can be time-consuming and tedious. Our app allows you to be able to do this fuss-free, giving you a simple way to organise, track and manage all of your life admin in one place.

Let One Click Life take care of your Tax Return and life’s essential tasks, so you can spend more time doing the things you love.