A Tax File Number (TFN) is a nine-digit number that is your unique identifier with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Everyone has a different TFN. Your TFN is yours for life, even if you change jobs, move interstate or change your name. If you leave the country and later come back to Australia, you still use the same TFN.
You will need a TFN in order to transact with not only the ATO but also with many other Australian Government agencies. A TFN is required when:
If you are working and do not have a TFN, your employer must take 47% of your pay in tax and any financial institution will also withhold 47% of any interest earned. Remember your TFN should only be used for taxation purposes and you need to protect it at all times.
Apply at Australian Post
The ATO and Australia Post have removed much of the red tape when an individual applies for a TFN. TFN applications are now simpler and easier, as they can now be applied for online and have your identity verified at more than 460 Australia Post retail outlets throughout the country. To apply on line:
You can also apply in person at an ATO shopfront by completing the paper form Tax file number – application or enquiry for individuals.
You can get a copy of this form by:
You can make an appointment with an ATO Shopfront by phoning 13 28 61 between 8.00am and 6.00pm Monday to Friday
You should receive your TFN within 28 days after your interview. The ATO will mail your TFN to the postal address on your application.
If you are a secondary school student, the easiest way to get your TFN is via the Secondary Schools TFN Program. Contact your Careers Advisor, school office staff or ATO for further details.
If you have misplaced your Tax File Number, check any of the following documents first:
If you still cannot locate your TFN, contact the ATO directly by calling 13 28 61 between 8.00am and 6.00pm Monday to Friday.
Our H&R Block accountants are now working online. Book an appointment with an expert.