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  • How to get a tax file number (TFN)

    Before you start work or apply for Centrelink payments, you need a tax file number (TFN). If you don’t have one, you could be paying too much tax.

    You can apply for a TFN using either the:

    It can take up to 28 days to receive your TFN.

    Online form

    The easiest way to apply for a TFN is to:

    1. Complete the online formExternal Link.
    2. Print the summary, which will include your application reference number. Take this with you to your Australia Post interview.
    3. Attend an interview at a participating Australia Post outlet. This must be within 30 days of completing your online form. You'll need to take your printed summary and proof of identity documentsExternal Link to the interview. You'll sign the application at the end of your interview.

    Next step:

    Paper form

    The paper form is called Tax file number – application for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (NAT 1589). To get one sent to you, phone the Indigenous helpline on 13 10 30.

    If you don't have enough documents to identify you, you need to ask a referee to fill in page 7 of the form. This must be an authorised referee – such as a council chairperson, community manager, school principal, minister of religion, doctor, senior nursing sister or authorised government officer (for example, police officer, Centrelink agent or nurse). Your referee must have known you for 12 months or more.

    There are two ways you can apply for a TFN using a paper form:

    Apply at Centrelink

    If you're applying for government benefits, you can apply for a TFN at CentrelinkExternal Link. They can help you complete a TFN form and send it back to us when it has been completed.

    Post the form and documents to ATO

    You can post the completed form back to us, with copies of your original supporting documents. The supporting documents must be certified by an authorised person.

    See also:

    Last modified: 09 Oct 2019QC 39591