A TFN is a unique combination of 8 or 9 numbers issued to you by the ATO
You will need a TFN when lodging your taxes on E-Lodge and also when filling out a tax file number declaration, applying for different programs, and in a variety of other situations. Applying for a tax file number can take up to 28 days after submitting the tax file number application.
Having a TFN is very important!
Here are the top ten facts that you should know when it comes to tax file numbers:
1. You will need a TFN in order to:
- Lodge a tax return
- Start working or change jobs
- Fill out a Tax File Number Declaration
- Apply for income assistants or support programs
- Claim the Family Tax Benefit (FTB)
- Make or receive payments under PAYG withholding
- Your income tax notice of assessment
- Any payment summaries
- Your Superannuation statement
- Correspondence you have received from the ATO.
- Call the ATO at 13 28 61
- Visit your closest shop front
- See our other article about how to track it down!
3. Tax File Numbers were introduced in 1988. At that time both 8 digits and 9 digit TFNS were issued. Now, ONLY 9 digit TFNs are issued.
4. A Business has a TFN and an ABN, Australian Business Number.
5. If you are an Australian citizen, you can apply for a TFN
- By attending an interview at an Australian Post retail outlet and then apply for a TFN on the web.
- By online ordering by completing a paper Tax File number application
- By ordering over the phone a paper Tax File number application. The ATO phone number for this is 1300 720 092, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- By Going to an ATO Shopfront
6. If you are not an Australian resident, you can apply for a TFN online any time after entering Australia if you are:
- A working holiday-maker
- From New Zealand and automatically granted a visa upon arrival
- A student form overseas and there have been amendments on your via for you to work
- A person that has a valid visa and are allowed to be in Australia
- A person in Australia with a business visa
7. When applying for a TFN you must have original documents that prove your identity. Receiving a TFN may take up to 28 days. You will receive the TFN to the postal address you listed on your application.
8. You must sign your TFN application…
- If you are 16 years or older: you must sign your application
- If you are 13-15 years old: You or your parent/guardian must sign the application
- If you are 12 years or younger: Your parent or guardian must sign the application
9. A child can get a TFN at any age. Those who are having a parent or guardian sign the application for a TFN (15 and younger) must provide:
- The parent or guardian’s full name and proof of identity
- The applicants proof of identity documents
- A document showing the relationship of the two.
10. The only people who should ask for your TFN include:
- The ATO
- Australian Government agencies
- Tax agents, accountants, etc.
- Child Support Agency
- Trustees for Super Funds
- Payers under the PAYG withholding system (like your employer)
- Australian Federal Police
- Banks, credit unions, or other investment groups.
- Trustees of your held trust
It’s easy to see, having a TFN is important for a variety of reasons. If you do not have a TFN, you will not be able to lodge your taxes with E-Lodge. On the other hand, if you do have a TFN, you can get started and lodge your taxes at any time!
Updated 4 August 2016.Tags: tax file number, TFN