How to complete your application form
Section A: Applicant information
The answers to the questions in this section will help us establish whether you are already on our records or not.
Definition of spouse
A spouse includes another person (whether of the same or opposite sex):
- to whom you are legally married
- who is in a relationship with you that is registered under a prescribed state or territory law
- with whom you live with on a genuine domestic basis as a couple.
Section B: Address details
Your TFN will be sent to the postal address you provide. This could be your home address, your post office box, or your registered tax agent’s postal address.
We may use these details to send notices and correspondence about your taxation affairs.
Section C: Residency details
To understand your tax situation, you must first work out whether you are an Australian resident for tax purposes.
Generally, we consider you to be an Australian resident for tax purposes if you:
- have always lived in Australia or you have come to Australia and now live here permanently
- are an overseas student doing a course that takes more than six months to complete
- have been in Australia continuously for six months or more, and for most of that time you worked in the one job and lived in the same place
- will be or have been in Australia for more than half of the financial year (unless your usual home is overseas and you do not intend to live in Australia).
If you go overseas temporarily and do not set up a permanent home in another country, you may continue to be treated as an Australian resident for tax purposes.
The criteria we use to work out your residency status for tax purposes are not the same as those used by other Australian agencies for other purposes, such as immigration.
To check your Australian residency status for tax purposes, visit Work out your tax residency.
Section D: Contact details
Provide all details where you can at question 13.
You can also provide at question 14 details of another person we may contact for further information about this application – such as a parent, guardian or alternate contact.
Section E: Supporting documents
What are the proof of identity requirements?
- If you do not provide all the proof of identity documents we ask for, your application will be returned to you and we cannot issue you with a TFN.
- When you lodge your application, you must provide current documents that prove your identity for registration purposes (proof of identity).
- If you are completing a paper application, you must provide certified copies of your proof of identity documents – refer to Copies of documents – applicants within Australia.
- Certified copies of documents that you mail to us may not be returned to you.
- Documents that have been corrected or changed and initialled are not acceptable.
Parent or guardian
Can I sign the form if I am a parent or guardian?
Depending on the age of the applicant, a parent or guardian may be eligible to sign the form on behalf of the applicant – see Who should sign your application?
What do I need to provide if I sign on behalf of the applicant?
If you sign on behalf of the applicant, you must provide all of the information outlined at question 18 on the form.
If your parent or guardian signs your application, they must provide all of the following:
- their full name and either their own full proof of identity documents or their TFN at the declaration
- your full proof of identity documents
- a document showing your relationship (for example, full birth certificate, guardianship papers or Medicare card), and
- if you are 16 or 17 years old – a signed statement from a doctor explaining your circumstances.
Protected persons (applicants who are unable to sign their TFN application)
If you are 16 years or older and someone is appointed to help you with financial and legal matters, ask them to phone us on 13 28 61 between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday to discuss your application and the identification you need to supply. We have special arrangements in place to help you with the application process.
Appointees can include:
- guardians (legally able to act on behalf of someone under a power of attorney or a court order)
- carers (those who provide care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness or who are frail/aged)
If you are signing on behalf of an applicant who is:
- 16 or 17 years old and unable to sign their own application, you will need to provide the information outlined at question 18 on the form, and a signed statement from a doctor explaining the circumstances
- 18 years or older and unable to sign their own application, you will need to provide the information outlined at question 18 on the form, but your linking document must be one of the following
- power of attorney
- letter of authority
- court order
- authorised guardianship papers.
Prisoners and detainees
If you’re in prison and unable to provide full proof of identity documents, we will accept one primary document and both of the following:
- a letter from the prison (on prison letterhead) signed by a prison officer, stating your name, date of birth and current postal address, and
- a certified copy of your prison identification, signed by a certifier as a true and correct copy.
If you’re a detainee and unable to provide full proof of identity documents, we will accept one primary document and both of the following:
- a letter from the detention centre (on detention centre letterhead) signed by a detention centre officer, stating
- your name
- your date of birth
- your current postal address
- the circumstances preventing you from supplying proof of identity documents
- a certified copy of your detention centre identification signed by a certifier as a true and correct copy.
Documents in your previous name
If your documents are in your previous name, you must provide another document that shows how you changed your name – for example, marriage certificate, deed poll or change of name certificate.
Documents in languages other than English
If your original document is not written in English, you must provide a written translation that an authorised translation service has certified as a true and correct copy. Authorised translation services include:
- an appropriate embassy
- a professional translation service accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI).
You must show these staff your original documents, not photocopies. The documents must not be altered in any way – a document that has been corrected or changed and initialled is not acceptable.
Last modified: 05 Nov 2015QC 27134