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  • How to get a tax file number (TFN)

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

    You can apply for a TFN at Australia Post, a Services Australia centre or by post, depending on your circumstances. It can take up to 28 days to receive your TFN.

    On this page:

    Apply at Australia Post

    You can apply for a TFN at a participating Australia Post retail outletExternal Link if you're able to attend an interview. There is no fee for lodging your TFN application.

    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, and take it to your Australia Post interview.
    3. Attend an interview at a participating Australia Post outlet 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 need to sign your application at Australia Post when you complete your interview.

    Next steps:

    Apply at a Services Australia centre

    If you're applying for government benefits, you can apply for a TFN in person at a Services AustraliaExternal Link centre. They can help you complete a TFN application form.

    Make sure your proof of identity documents are originals – see the instructions on the form for details of the documents you'll need.

    If you have authorised Services Australia to receive your TFN from the ATO:

    • select ‘to give to Services Australia’ as your reason for needing a TFN.

    Once processed, we'll send your TFN to Services Australia.

    Apply by post

    If you can't attend an interview at a participating Australia Post retail outlet or you're not a Services Australia customer, you'll need to complete a paper Tax file number – application or enquiry for individuals (NAT 1432) form.

    You can get a copy of this form by either:

    If you don't have identity documents

    If you don't have enough documents to identify yourself, you'll need to complete a paper Tax file number – application for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (NAT 1589) form. To get a copy of this form sent to you, phone the Indigenous helpline on 13 10 30.

    You'll need to ask a referee to complete 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, Services Australia 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:

    Post the form and documents to the ATO

    You can post your completed form back to us, with certified copies of your original identity documents. These documents must be certified by ATO approved certifiers.

    Send your completed TFN application and certified copies of your identity documents to the address listed on the form.

    Note: Don't mail your original identity documents to us – they may not be returned to you.

    See also:

    Last modified: 13 Feb 2020QC 39591