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  • TFN application for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    A tax file number (TFN) is your personal reference number in the tax and superannuation systems.

    A TFN is free.

    Your TFN is:

    • an important part of your tax and super records
    • an important part of your identity – make sure you keep it secure
    • yours for life, even if you change your name, change jobs, move interstate or go overseas.

    You should have a TFN if you want to get a job, apply for government benefits, lodge your tax return electronically or get an Australian business number (ABN).

    On this page:

    How to apply

    Depending on your circumstances, you can apply for a TFN:

    Apply through Services Australia

    If you're applying to receive 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.

    You will need to take your original identity documents with you.

    If you authorise Centrelink to receive your TFN from us you will need to select ‘To give to Centrelink’ on the form as your reason for needing a TFN.

    Once processed, we'll send your TFN to both you and Centrelink.

    Apply by post

    If you can't apply through any of the other available channels, you'll need to complete a paper form and provide identity documents.

    You can get a copy of the paper form by either the:

    Identity documents

    You will need to provide documents with your application to prove your identity, such as an Australian birth certificate or passport.

    If applying at Services Australia or Australia Post, you’ll need to take your original identity documents with you.

    If applying by post, we accept certified copies of your identity documents. These documents must be certified by approved certifiers.

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

    If you don't provide all of the documents required to identify you, we will return your application to you and will not be able to issue you with a TFN.

    If you don't have identity documents

    If you identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and don't have enough documents to identify yourself, you'll need to complete a paper form.

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

    You'll need to ask a referee who has known you for 12 months or more to complete the proof of identity reference on page 7 of the form. This must be an authorised referee. For example:

    • a council chairperson
    • a community manager
    • a school principal
    • a minister of religion
    • a doctor
    • a senior nursing sister
    • an authorised government officer (such as a police officer, Services Australia agent or nurse).

    You can lodge this form by post using the address on the form or at a Services Australia centre.

    Last modified: 31 Aug 2021QC 39591