Tax File Number (TFN)

When you start a new job, your employer will ask you for your Tax File Number (or TFN for short).

Typically your new employer will ask you to fill out a Tax File Number Declaration form. If you don’t give your employer your TFN, they are required by law to take 46.5% of your wages and pay it to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) instead of to you.

Your TFN is how the ATO keeps a record of your taxable income. Everyone has a different number and your unique number will remain the same forever regardless of whether you move, marry or change jobs.

Be careful with your TFN – this number is very important and should not be shared with anyone. There are exceptions such as your bank, superannuation fund, employer and Centrelink. You should query requests from any other source.

To get your own TFN, if you haven’t got one already, you can call the ATO on 1300 720 092 to have a TFN application sent out to you, or you can pick up a form from an ATO office. When you submit your form, you will need to show documents that prove your identity, such as your birth certificate or passport (see the list on the form), so take these with you as well.  The ATO will go through your application, and send you your TFN in the mail.

You can now also apply online for a TFN, and either post copies of your proof of identity documents, or take them in to an interview with Australia Post.  For more information, check out the ATO website here.