Tax File Number (TFN)
Getting a Tax File Number (TFN) is required of all workers in Australia. A TFN is a 9-digit number that is issued by the Australia government only once in your lifetime. It is required for such things as lodging a tax return, applying for government financial assistance, employment, and for your superannuation fund.
When receiving a TFN for the first time, it will be issued within 28 days of submitting your application, but you can start using it right away.
TFN for migrants/international students/visitors
If you are permanent migrant or visiting temporarily, you must be in the country to apply. This includes working holiday candidates, New Zealanders, an overseas student allowed to work, and legitimate visa holders.
To apply for a TFN, you must have a valid passport or travel documents, have an Australian address, and be allowed to work in Australia or have a valid student visa. Because the government already has proof of your documentation from your original visa application, you do not have to physically show your identity documentation.
See this link for more information on Tax File Numbers.
Applying for your TFN online
You can apply online at any time after entering Australia - there is no time restriction on doing this.
It takes about 20 minutes to complete the process. You can go to a public library or Internet cafe to register online if you do not have Internet access. When completed, you receive a receipt number which you can begin using immediately until you receive your letter in the post.
If you are already in Australia, begin your online TFN application here.
Tax File Number for resident for tax purposes
If you are an Australian resident for tax purposes and 16 years or older, you submit your application online and then bring proof of your identity to participating Australia Post outlets. You can also apply through Centrelink, or through your school if you are a secondary student.
Follow this link to apply for your TFN online.
Non-resident of Australia for tax purposes
In the rare case that you are a non-resident of Australia for tax purposes living outside of Australia you must submit the following form: Tax file number - application or enquiry for an individual living outside Australia (NAT 2628)
Once you have a TFN, you MUST keep your details up to date with the government.
If you were issued a TFN in the past, but do not know where to find it, you should check any documentation you have received from employers (such as your payment summary), or contact a tax agent you have used.