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Aug 17 2010

Medicare Levy on a Student Visa

The Medicare Levy is an Australian Government charge of 1.5% to help towards the costs of the Australian Medical System know as Medicare.

A Student Visa holder, in Australia for over 6 months is normally classed as an Australian Resident for tax purposes, and pays the same tax rates as a normal Australian Citizen or Resident. This is detailed on this page: Income Tax on a Student Visa.

Most employers will often also deduct the Medicare Levy at the current rate of 1.5%.

However, as most Student Visa holders are not eligible for Medicare benefits in Australia, they are able to claim the exemption from paying the 1.5% Medicare Levy.

To avoid the employer deducting this levy, the individual must give the employer a Medicare Levy Variation Declaration form, which can be obtained from the Australian Tax Office website… link.  
Some employers will also have these forms, but only if they are accustomed to employing people in this category.

This levy can be re-claimed in the end of year tax return, if it is actually deducted by the employer.

The Australian Tax Office statement on this is:

Medicare levy exemption
You may qualify for an exemption from paying the Medicare levy if you were in any of the following three exemption categories at any time in the year.  These categories are:

  • Category 1 – medical, which applies to people such as blind pensioners
  • Category 2 – foreign residents and residents of Norfolk Island
  • Category 3 – people not entitled to Medicare benefits and who have obtained a Medicare levy exemption certificate from Medicare Australia.

Below is a link to the Australian Taxation Office’s ”Medicare levy” page.

Below is a link to the Australian Taxation Office’s ”Medicare levy variation declaration” page.

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