A Tax File Number (TFN) is a unique identifier every Australian worker receives from the government. It’s used for tax returns, benefit payments, superannuation services, and is required for applying for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and completing a bank account application.

Keeping Your TFN Safe

Your TFN, consisting of 9 digits, is unique to you and should never be shared. Keeping your TFN safe is crucial to prevent fraud or identity theft. It’s akin to a driver’s license in terms of its privacy and importance.

When Do I Need a Tax File Number?

Every employee in Australia is required to have a TFN as soon as they start a new job. Registering for a TFN before starting work ensures that you can provide it to your employer on your first day. Failure to provide a TFN can result in being taxed at a higher rate.

Tax File Number Declaration Form

At each new job, you’ll complete a Tax File Number Declaration Form to provide your employer with your TFN. The form includes questions about residency, citizenship, and other tax-related matters. Select ‘Yes’ for the tax-free threshold question to ensure you’re not over-taxed.

What to Do If You Are Working More Than One Job?

It’s important to claim the tax-free threshold from only one employer in a year. Claiming it from multiple employers can lead to insufficient tax payments and a tax bill at the end of the year.

Other Reasons You Need A TFN

Your TFN is also necessary for opening a new bank account, applying for an ABN, or claiming government allowances or benefits such as the Family Tax Benefit or Centrelink payments.

How Do I Apply for a Tax File Number? What Is the TFN Application Process?

Apply for a TFN online via the Australian Government’s MyGov Website or in person at a post office. Tax agents can also assist with the application. The application is free, and once processed, your TFN is mailed to the provided address.

How Long Does It Take to Get a TFN?

The Australian Tax Office usually contacts you within 10 days of applying, but it may take up to 28 days to receive your TFN.

What to Do If My TFN Is Lost or Stolen?

If your TFN is lost, stolen, or disclosed to someone else, contact the Australian Tax Office immediately to prevent potential fraud or crimes committed in your name.

Is It Acceptable for My Tax Agent to Ask Me to Email Them A Copy of My Tax File Number?

Your tax agent should never ask you to email or fax your TFN. If they do, call them out on this unprofessional behavior, as it poses a risk to your privacy and security.