The PALM scheme was first announced on 23 November 2021. The Australian Government consolidated the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) and operated under the PALM scheme with one visa stream and improvements to cut red tape and improve worker welfare.
Labour hire entities, contractors, growers and trusts can apply to become SWP-approved employers, PLS-approved employers or both. Contractors and labour hire entities must have been in operation for the previous five consecutive years in order to participate in the PALM scheme.
Businesses can recruit workers from the following countries:
Employers in the agriculture and accommodation sectors (in most regional and rural areas) can recruit workers for unskilled and low-skilled seasonal roles for up to 9 months through the SWP provided there is not enough local labour available.
Rural and regional employers looking for a longer-term solution can potentially recruit workers for low-skilled and semi-skilled roles for between one and four years through the PLS when there are not enough local workers available.
Individuals who come to Australia under the short-term scheme are foreign residents for tax purposes.
Individuals who come to Australia under the longer-term scheme may be considered Australian residents for tax purposes.
Foreign resident workers under the short-term (seasonal) PALM scheme
Employer to WHT at a flat rate of 15% on all payments made to the employee if:
The employee is not required to file a tax return if they do not earn income from any other sources in Australia.
The PALM scheme income is NANE income, and the employee cannot claim any deductions against the income.
If the employer is not an approved employer, they will be taxed at foreign resident rates and the employee will need to file a tax return.
The taxation arrangements for the PALM scheme have not been passed by parliament. The information might be updated as any new tax arrangements for PALM scheme workers become law.
Australian resident workers under the longer-term PALM scheme
Australian resident workers pay tax at the individual income tax rates. The employer is required to WHT when they pay the employee. The employee is required to file a tax return.
With this newsletter we give an overview of recent or expected changes in the area of Global Mobility in different countries.
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