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  • What is a tax file number? – Easy Read

    How to use this document

    This information is written in a way that is easy to read.

    We use pictures to explain some ideas.

    This document has been written by the Australian Tax Office or ATO.

    When you see the words 'we', 'our' or 'us' it means the ATO.

    This Easy Read document is a summary of another document.

    You can find the longer document on our website at www.ato.gov.au/TFN

    What is a tax file number?

    A tax file number (TFN) is a personal reference number.

    It is a 9 digit number that identifies you in the tax and super system.

    A TFN is free.

    You will always keep the same TFN, even if you

    • get a new job
     

    • change your name
     

    • move overseas.
     

    Why do I need a TFN?

    You should have a TFN if you want to

    • get a job
     

    • apply for government benefits
     

    • get an Australian business number (ABN).
     

    If you do not have a TFN you will pay more tax on money you get from

    • a job
     

    • the government.
     

    How do I apply for a TFN?

    Applying for a TFN is free. You should never pay to get a TFN.

    You can apply for a TFN at any age.

    There are different ways to apply for a TFN if you are

    • an Australian resident
     

    • a foreign passport holder or permanent migrant or temporary visitor
     

    • living outside Australia.
     

    When you apply you will need to prove who you are.

    We will ask you to provide identity documents.

    Find out how to apply at www.ato.gov.au/apply-for-a-tfn

    When will I get my TFN?

    After you apply you should get your TFN within 28 days.

    We will send your TFN to the postal address you put on your application.

    If you do not get your TFN within 28 days phone us on 13 28 61.

    Keep your TFN safe

    Your TFN is how we identify you in the tax and super system.

    Someone can steal your identity if they have your TFN.

    You must not let anyone else use your TFN. Not even your friends or family.

    Only some organisations can ask for your TFN. They include

    • us
     

    • Services Australia
     

    • your bank
     

    • your employer
     

    • your super fund
     

    • your registered tax agent.
     

    How to find your TFN?

    If you cannot find your TFN there are a few places you can look.

    If you have a myGov account linked to the ATO you can log in to your ATO online account.

    You can also find your TFN on

    • your income tax notice of assessment
     

    • letters we have sent you
     

    • a payment summary or income statement from your employer
     

    • your superannuation account statement.
     

    If you use a registered tax agent, you can ask them for your TFN.

    If you still cannot find your TFN, phone us on 13 28 61.

     

    If you are overseas phone +61 3 9268 8332.

    My TFN was stolen

    You must tell us as soon as you can if

    • your TFN was stolen
     

    • someone else is using your TFN.
     

    Phone us on 1800 467 033.

    We've also provided a PDF of this document so you can read this information offline – What is a tax file number? – Easy Read (PDF, 2.3MB)This link will download a file.

    Last modified: 05 Jul 2021QC 66217