If any individual needs to lodge tax returns under a new name that is not current on Australian Tax Office (ATO) records, the details will need to be updated before your tax return is lodged. The ATO has issued instructions regarding the steps necessary to change your name for Individuals and Sole Traders.

NOTE: You cannot change your name via the front page of the tax return, as you have in the past. If you do not follow the procedure below your tax return will be delayed in the ATO.

You can do this by telephone or online:

The quickest way to update your name is by using the online services for individuals. All you need is a myGov account linked to the ATO.

Alternatively, the ATO will be able to help you quickly over the phone.  

Phone 13 28 61 between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday, and ask to be transferred to 'Personal Tax Enquiries'.

or

If you are calling from overseas, phone +61 2 6216 1111, between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm AEST, and ask to be transferred to 'Personal Tax Enquiries'.

Whether you make the change online or by phone, make sure you have your identity documents with you, as listed below. If the ATO are unable to make the changes over the phone, they will provide you with details of other options for updating your name.

Identity documents that can be verified are:

  • Australian birth certificate (full certificate, not an extract)
  • Australian marriage certificate
  • Australian change of name certificate

Note: The ATO will verify the identity document details with the agencies who issue them.

Non-residents can supply certified copies of original supporting documents, as listed below. Documents must not be altered or amended in any way. Documents that you mail to the ATO will not be returned to you – do not mail original documents.

  • overseas passport
  • overseas birth certificate
  • national photo identification card
  • overseas government issued identification
  • a marriage certificate
  • an overseas driver's licence.

If you are unable to contact the ATO by phone, you can download and complete form Nat 2817.

It can take up to 28 days to update your records after the ATO receive the form.

This information is intended as a guide.

June 2016