How to get a tax file number (TFN)

Before you start work or get 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 using either the:

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

Online form

You can complete the online form Australian residents – TFN application. You need to print it out, then book an interview at Australia Post – you can do this online too. When you go for the interview, take the printout and supporting documents with you.

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 (police officer, Centrelink agent or nurse). Your referee must have known you for 12 months or more.

There are a few ways to apply for a TFN using this 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.

Apply at an ATO shopfront

After filling in the TFN form, you can visit an ATO shopfront to have an interview. Make sure you take all your supporting documents with you. You can make an appointment by phoning the ATO Indigenous Helpline on 13 10 30.

If you need help filling in the TFN form, phone the ATO Indigenous Helpline or ask us for help at an ATO shopfront.

Post the form and documents to us

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: 12 Jan 2016QC 39591