3418.0 - Personal Income of Migrants, Australia, 2013-14 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/07/2017   
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INTRODUCTION

This release presents detailed information on the sources of personal income that migrants received in the 2013-14 financial year including;

  • Employee income;
  • Own unincorporated business income;
  • Investment income; and
  • Other income (excluding Government pensions and allowances).

The personal income of these migrants is presented by characteristics such as the migrant's entry conditions to Australia (i.e. visa stream, applicant status and location of visa application) as well as country of birth, year of arrival and length of stay. This is the fourth release of data from the Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset (PITMID) project. Previous releases presented data for the 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 financial years. A separate publication for the 2012-13 financial year has not been released though data for this financial year has been included in time series tables for this publication.

These statistics relate to migrants aged 15 years and over, with a permanent or provisional visa who arrived after 1 January 2000.

This release contains a number of data tables showing the various financial characteristics of permanent migrants, across and within the Skill, Family, Humanitarian and Provisional visa streams. In addition, this release presents three case studies: one on migrant taxpayers born in Sri Lanka, and one each on those holding a Family or a Humanitarian visa. In 2013-14, Sri Lanka was among the top ten most common countries of birth for all Permanent and Provisional visa streams except the Family stream. Whilst there has been an increase from 2012-13 to 2013-14 in the number of migrant taxpayers submitting an income tax return and in the amount of income reported, the proportions of migrants in each of the visa streams and the proportions of income attributed to them has remained relatively stable.

The 2013-14 PITMID has been developed with the support of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and the Department of Social Services (DSS). This initiative demonstrates the power of data sharing and integration in strengthening the evidence base to support stronger policy development, programme delivery and research.

Approach

These statistics have been compiled by linking individual taxpayer unit record data from the ATO and migrant settlement records from the Australian Government's Permanent Migrant Data (PMD). Legislative requirements to ensure privacy and secrecy of this data have been adhered to. In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, results have been confidentialised to ensure that they are not likely to enable identification of a particular person or organisation. Both the ATO and the ABS handle personal information contained in the data in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act 1988.

The results of these studies are based, in part, on tax data supplied by the ATO to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) under the Taxation Administration Act 1953, which requires that such data is only used for the purpose of administering the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Any discussion of data limitations or weaknesses is in the context of using the data for statistical purposes, and is not related to the ability of the data to support the ATO's core operational requirements.

Data provided to the ABS by the ATO are from taxation returns processed up to 16 months after the end of the financial year (i.e. returns processed up to 31 October 2015 for the financial year ending 30 June 2014).

When interpreting these results, it should be noted that for the purposes of providing statistical measures for the entire population, the ATO database has some limits to its coverage. Persons who receive an income below the tax-free threshold ($18,200 in 2013-14) are not necessarily required to lodge a tax return and this can include people who derive their income from government pensions and allowances. In addition, some Australian Government pension, benefit and allowance payments are exempt from income tax and therefore recipients are not required to include this income in their taxation returns. Consequently, the coverage of all low income earners is incomplete and Government pensions and allowances are excluded from the data presented in this publication. Sources and methods for including more complete Government pensions and allowances information from other administrative DSS datasets are being considered for future iterations of this project.

Changes in income from previous years (2009-10 to 2012-13) are presented in 'real terms' i.e. in 2013-14 dollars, adjusted using changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

It is also important to note that most references to the migrant population in this publication refer to migrant taxpayers, not the entire population of permanent migrants in Australia. Tables and graphs include data for only those migrants who had submitted a tax return.

Data on the personal income of migrants from the PITMID are unique and differ from the ATO statistics produced for the total Australian taxpayer population as well as the aggregate Personal Income Tax (PIT) statistics presented in Wage and Salary Earner Statistics for Small Areas (cat. no. 5673.0.55.003) and the Estimates of Personal Income for Small Areas (cat. no. 6524.0.55.002) (see Explanatory Notes).

When presenting statistics on income created from unit record data such as the 2013-14 PITMID, the ABS uses medians which measure the midpoint of the data (as income data is usually skewed). In some cases, median income for the Australian taxpayer data is not available for comparison.

This release is also accompanied by a Glossary, Explanatory Notes and detailed Data Item List.