The 2020 school year is over and as school leavers prepare for their next step in life, there is every chance that at some point in the very near future they will need an Tax File Number.

But what is a TFN?

A tax file number (TFN) is free and identifies you for tax and superannuation purposes. It’s yours for life. You keep the same TFN even if you change your name, change jobs, move interstate or go overseas. If your details change, you need to let the ATO know.

How do I apply?

How you apply for a TFN depends on your circumstances. If you are unsure of your residency status, find out how to work out your tax residency.

What happens next?

You should receive your TFN within 28 days after we receive your completed application and required documents. To prevent delays don’t lodge another application. We appreciate your patience during the processing period. If you haven’t received your TFN after 28 days, contact us.

A word on protecting information

Make sure you protect your identity by keeping all your personal details secure, including your TFN. Someone only needs some basic details such as your name, date of birth, address, myGov details, or TFN to commit identity fraud.

There are only a few people and places that can ask for your TFN, including:

  • the ATO
  • Centrelink – Services Australia
  • your bank
  • your employer after you start a job
  • your super fund
  • your registered tax agent.

Keep your TFN private. You should not share it with anyone not listed above.

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