Applying for a Tax File Number

If you intend you work and earn money in Australia, you need a Tax File Number (TFN).


This is a unique number issued by Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to individuals and organisations for identification and record-keeping purposes.


As a working individual, there are three ways you can apply for a TFN, depending on your circumstances.


1. If you are visiting and intend to work in Australia/ Migrating to Australia Permanently. The ATO together with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has developed an online registration process that will enable permanent migrants and temporary visitors to Australia to apply for an individual TFN via internet if you have a visa that: (a) allows work rights; (b) allows permanent migration; (c) valid to stay in Australia indefinitely.


2. If you live outside Australia and receive rental income from an Australian property, business income from Australian interests or need to lodge an Australian tax return for any other reason. You can apply for a TFN using Tax file number – application or enquiry for individuals living outside Australia (NAT 2628). (a) If you are a member of an Australian superannuation fund; (b) You need to lodge an Australian income tax return to claim; (c) You want to apply for an Australian business number (ABN) and if applicable, another associated business account, such as goods and services tax (GST). For example, if you receive an appearance fee under contract as an entertainer; (d) your spouse is an Australian resident and applying for the Australian family tax benefit.


3. If you are an Australian resident for tax purposes. Your TFN is a unique number we give you to help us manage tax and other government services. ATO issue one TFN to you during your lifetime, even if you change your circumstances such as your name or residency. You should keep your TFN secure at all times and update the office if you change your name or address.


So, why you may need to apply for a TFN?


A TFN will assist you when you work in Australia, lodge a tax return, ask about your personal tax affairs, have savings accounts or investments that earn income, make or receive payments under the pay as you go system, apply for certain income assistance or support payments etc. To know more about TFN, refer to ATO.