Everything About The Tax File Number

Are you aware of the Tax File Number (TFN)? Rather, do you know why you need it?

Most working Australians require a TFN. But a majority of them are unaware of the fact that they require one. Well, we are here to help you clear all your queries related to Tax File Number.

This article covers all the essentials of a Tax File Number, right from what it is to why you need it.

What is a Tax File Number (TFN)?

A TAN is a nine-digit unique identifier number with the Australian Taxation Office. Every individual has a unique number. The number remains the same even if a working individual in Australia changes his/her name, job or moves to another state. In cases where someone travels to another country and returns back, he/she can still use this unique number.

A TFN is a must for all government transactions, be it with the ATO or the other Australian Government Agencies. One requires a TFN for:

  • Starting a new job
  • Changing jobs
  • Business purposes – Australian Business number
  • Claiming Family Tax Benefits
  • Lodging and Claiming Tax Returns
  • Making online transactions and payments under the PAYG
  • Applying for the HECS-HELP
  • Applying for income support or assistance through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs or Centre link

If you do not have your TFN and are working, then your employer must deduct 49% of your pay for the tax. Also, any financial institution can withhold 49% of interest earned. Taxpayers should bear one thing in mind – use TFN only for tax purposes and protect it in all terms.

How can you apply for a TFN?

Ideally, there are four ways to apply for a TFN based on your preferences and circumstances.

Contact Universal Taxation: It is challenging to apply for the TFN, you need many documents, to get your TFN. To make this process easy, you can contact the Universal Taxation Services in Perth, and the rest of the work will be done by them to get your new TFN.

By Post: You can fill the TFN application form and post or mail it to the address mentioned in the form. Also, you need to attach the attested documents for identity proof.
Note: Never send your original documents, chances are you might not receive them back.

ATO: Visit your nearest ATO shop front and book an advance appointment and then visit the office. You can fill the application form for your ATN and attach your identity proof documents along.

Post Office: You can complete an online application form available on the ATO website, and print it. Later, you can visit the nearest outlet of Australia Post Retail to complete the other legal formalities. You must apply for the interview within 30 days of your appointment booking or form filling. Note: Do take your attested copies of identity proofs along with you and the original ones for verification.

The Australian Post also provides services such as:

  • Providing notifications of any deceased person
  • Updating information like DOB on the ATO record.

What if you have lost or misplaced your TFN?

If you have misplaced this unique number, then first check the following documents:

  • Your statement of Superannuation member
  • Your income tax Assessment for the previous year
  • Your correspondence from ATO
  • Any of your PAYG payment summaries which you would have received from or any Government Agency or your Employer.

If you fail at locating your TFN, you shall directly contact the ATO by:

  • Visiting the nearest ATO shop front.
  • Check the details on the ATO website.
  • Calling 13 28 61 between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm on weekdays. On Saturday, you can call between 10.00 am to 4.00 pm from 1st July to 31st October.

If you can still not find your TFN:

Login to the myGov External Link account and locate your TFN

Talk to your Accountant or Tax Returns Service provider and get your TFN

Check your Notice of Assessment or any payment summary which you might have received.

In the case of your stolen TFN:

If you have encountered some illegal activities with your TFN, you must contact the ATO as soon as possible. The ATO will monitor any suspicious activity and take security measures on your account. You can also call the Client Identity Support Centre. Just dial 1800 467 033 anytime between 8.00 am to 6.00 pm from Monday to Friday

List of Copies of Documents you need for TFN:

If you are a Businessperson and would want to apply for a Tax File Number(TFN), Goods and Service Tax(GST) and Australian Business Number(ABN), then you need to have some identification documents. You can send the certified copies via mail or post.

Note: Any altered or corrected document will be unaccepted.

Certified Copies:

To certify your identity documents,

  • Photocopy it
  • Make a set of original and Xeroxed documents to get it verified by the certifiers
  • Make sure the copies include the Date of Certification and are marked as true copies by any of the certifiers mentioned below.
  • In case your document is not in English, you should provide a written translation by an Authorised Translation Service. The translation should also be completed by a professional translation service which is the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI) accredited.

List of ATO Approved Certifiers:

For certified true copies of your attested identity proof documents, you can contact any of these reputed people:

  • Judge
  • Barrister
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Police Officer
  • Sheriff’s Officer
  • Solicitor
  • Doctor
  • Minister of religion
  • A Bank or Credit Union officer who has at least 5 years of service
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