Lost your Australian TFN? …You’re not alone.
A tax file number (TFN) is a unique number issued to you by the ATO that helps them keep track of your Australian tax return and government payments. You only get one TFN for your entire life, even if your name or residency changes, so keep it confidential.
When lodging your taxes on E-Lodge or elsewhere, you’ll need to enter your tax file number so that the Australian Taxation Office can securely identify you. So whether you have yet to learn yours or you lost it, we’ll tell you what to do.
Why do I need a TFN?
Though not compulsory, it is highly recommended that you get a TFN. You will need it in order to do the following;
- lodge an Australian tax return
- ask the ATO a question about your taxes
- apply for income assistance or support payments
- claim the Family Tax Benefit
- use PAYG withholding
- start a new job, which includes filling out a Tax file number declaration or Withholding declaration
- earn income from a savings account or investment
- receive a HELP payment
- join a superfund
Australian nonresidents should note that they don’t need a TFN to earn interest from an Australian bank account, dividends from Australian shares, or royalty payments.
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