Embassy News

30 Mar 2009 7:07 PM | Deleted user

From the Embassy

By Khadija Haq, Australian Embassy Tokyo

(1) TaxPack Publication Supplies
The Australian Taxation Office has taken the decision to not provide bulk printed stocks of TaxPack publications to the Australian Embassy Tokyo (and all other overseas missions) this year. The Tax Office advised that the decision had been reached as a result of careful analysis of the trends in paper tax return lodgement and printed publication usage, which showed a rapidly increasing uptake of electronic tax return lodgement, and electronic access of associated publications. As a result, it was determined as ineffective and undesirable to supply these publications in bulk and in advance of a specific, individual taxpayer's request.

The Tax Office advised that taxpayers who need access to the publications could first attempt to lodge their tax return via e-Tax, the Tax Office's electronic tax return lodgement portal at: http://ato.gov.au/individuals/pathway.asp?pc=001/002/014
The Tax Office also advised that if e-Tax was not a suitable option, then taxpayers could download or order their required printed publication through the Tax Office's website at:
http://ato.gov.au/individuals/content.asp?doc=/Content/00145272.htm  
Printed publications can be ordered from the Tax Office by calling +61-2-6216-1111 and asking for the publications distribution service.

(2) Crime in Japan
You may have noticed a travel advice update from the US Embassy and resultant media concerning drink-spiking in entertainment areas in Tokyo.
See the following Warden’s message for the full text http://tokyo.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-warden20090317-01.html  
We remind you of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade travel advice on Japan (http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Japan) which notes the following under the Crime section:
"Japan generally has a low rate of crime.  However, drink spiking, often resulting in theft and assault, occurs in bars and other entertainment venues.  Sporadic incidents of bag snatching and pickpocketing of foreigners in crowded shopping areas, on trains and at airports have occurred."

(3) Tasmanian Legislative Council Elections
The Tasmanian Legislative Council Elections for the divisions of Derwent, Mersey and Windermere have been announced for 2 May 2009.  

You can access the application form for a postal vote on-line from the Tasmanian Electoral Commission (TEC) website.  The website link is as follows: www.electoral.tas.gov.au.  
Once you have completed your application form for a postal vote, please fax it to the TEC on +61-3-6224-0217 by 6:00pm (AEST) 28 April 2009.  Ballot papers will then be posted to the elector for completion.  Ballot papers must be completed and postmarked by Saturday 2 May 2009 and be mailed so as to be received by the TEC no later than Tuesday 12 May 2009.
For those voting from Japan, please note that you would need to apply for your postal ballot paper well in advance of the 28 April deadline in order to receive your ballot paper and vote before the 2 May deadline.
Please note that the Australian Embassy Tokyo and regional Australian Consulates in Japan cannot process in-person votes or postal votes.

(4) Western Australian Daylight Saving Referendum
The Western Australian Referendum on Daylight Saving has been announced for 16 May 2009.  
Postal voting services will be available through the Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC) in Australia for Australians overseas who are eligible to vote in this referendum.  Postal vote applications are available on-line on the WAEC website at:
http://www.waec.wa.gov.au or via email on waec@waec.wa.gov.au, or telephone: +61-8-9214-0400.

Application forms must be completed and returned to the Western Australian Electoral Commission before 6.00pm on Thursday 14th May 2009.  Ballot Papers will then be posted to the elector for completion.  These must then be mailed, postmarked prior to 6.00pm on polling day, Saturday 16 May and received at the Commission by 9.00am on Thursday 21 May 2009.
For those voting from Japan, please note that you would need to apply for your postal vote ballot paper well in advance of the 14 May deadline in order to receive your ballot paper and vote before the 16 May deadline.
Please note that the Australian Embassy Tokyo and regional Australian Consulates in Japan cannot process in-person votes or postal votes.

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