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  • Tax: What you need to know

    Printed copies of this information are available from ato.gov.au/publications

    Why we pay tax

    Tax is money that people and businesses pay to the Australian Government. The money we collect helps pay for services including:

    • health
    • education
    • defence
    • roads and railways
    • social security and other payments from Centrelink.

    How much tax you pay

    The amount of tax you pay depends on:

    • how much you earn
    • whether you have a tax file number (TFN) – this is a personal identity number, which you provide to your employer
    • whether you are a resident for tax purposes.

    If you begin work before you have a TFN, you have 28 days to get one and give it to your employer. If you don’t, your employer must take tax from your pay at the highest rate.

    For information on income tax rates for individuals, go to Individual income tax rates.

      Last modified: 29 Jun 2017QC 38031