WA Introduces School Fees For 457 Visa Holders

In a first for Australia, the Western Australian government has introduced new legislation that from 2015 all 457 visa holders children must pay $4,000 per child per year.
For additional children in a family the price is $2,000 per additional child.


457 Visa School Fees


The money originally was thought to be going to schools to help their funding but now has been told treasury’s general funds. It’s expected the total amount raised will be 60 million dollars over 4 years.

The new tax only applies in WA and other states still provide free state schooling (or parents can still opt to send their children to private schools). The scheme was originally going to be tougher with a flat $4,000 per year charge which could cause real issues for larger families.

It’s important to note that 457 visa holders pay tax at the same or similar rates to permanent residents. They also have to pay to get their 457 visa which has become more expensive on June 30th and then against on August 31st. One could argue the only thing that 457 visa holders don’t get to do is vote which could be the reason behind the introduction of fees just for this subclass of the population.

Tax For 457 Visa Holders

When a 457 visa holder first reaches Australia it’s recommended they meet a financial advisor or accountant. There are many ways to structure your tax and ways to minimise tax based on your individual circumstance. For example, there may be ways to salary sacrifice elements such as your car (through novated leasing). You can also paying elements such a the Medicare surcharge by keeping your hospital cover elements of your private health insurance (such as 457 visa health insurance). There are also different levels of super you can set aside that is on-top of the compulsory levels (call co-contributions). This can help put aside funds that are taxed at a lower rate for retirement.

There are other tax structures that may be worth investigating such as ‘family trusts’ which may be ideal for certain tax situations. A registered accountant or financial planner will advise what options are available for a temporary resident in Australia and which option best suits your individual needs. Its important to keep all records of income generated within Australia from your regular wage to additional activities you may be doing.