Starting your first job – what a milestone

A new job means the start of your career, financial independence and a chance to prove your determination at your workplace. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Finding your first real job

You’ve finished school, TAFE or university and now you’re looking for your first job. How exciting! Give yourself the best possible chance of landing a plum role by taking several important steps:

Getting sorted for tax

Virtually all employers will ask you for a tax file number (TFN). This can be easily obtained. Simply take several forms of personal ID along to a Post Office or apply directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Allow several weeks for your TFN to be issued.

Once you have handed your TFN to your employer, the tax taken out of your income may vary between pay packets depending on the hours you have worked and the salary you have earned. 

As a guide, expect to pay:

Taxable income

Tax on this income

0 – $18,200


$18,201 – $37,000

19c for each $1 over $18,200

$37,001 – $87,000

$3,572 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $37,000

$87,001 – $180,000

$19,822 plus 37c for each $1 over $87,000

$180,001 and over

$54,232 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

ATO website –

Always check your pay slip – and not just for tax. Your employer may be required to pay compulsory superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions on your behalf (more on this later), which should be shown on your pay slip.

When do I have to submit a tax return?

You should submit a tax return following the end of your first financial year at work if you have earned over $18,200 or if your employer has deducted tax from your pay.1

What is income protection insurance?

Income protection insurance aims to assist a person financially if that person couldn’t work due to illness or injury. If you are prevented from working due to illness or injury, your regular bills like rent or car loan repayments wouldn’t stop even if your wage or salary does.

This makes income protection insurance a way to assist you financially if your health prevents you from working for a period of time.

Your financial adviser can explain more.

Smart ways to manage your income

Your first pay cheque can seem like a king’s ransom, and with careful planning you can really put that money to work. Drafting a budget can assist you in finding spare cash to save and invest, giving you a good head start to achieving financial security.

Next: Managing the money side of a new job

Consolidating your debts or making sure you’re paying the lowest possible rate on your mortgage are just some of the steps you can take to get on top of your loans.
Getting married is major milestone. There is plenty to plan for, goals to be shared and new steps to be taken to ensure you achieve your full potential as a couple.

1 ATO website - and

This information is current as at 15/08/2016.

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

This information provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

The tax position described is a general statement and is for guidance only. It has not been prepared by a registered tax agent. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current tax laws and our interpretation. Your individual situation may differ and you should seek independent professional tax advice.

This Information may contain material provided directly by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be accurate at its issue date. It should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor relied upon as such. While such material is published with necessary permission, no company in the Westpac Group accepts responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of, or endorses any such material. Except where contrary to law, we intend by this notice to exclude liability for this material.

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