Copies of documents – applicants within Australia

If you apply for an Australian business number (ABN), a tax file number (TFN) or the goods and services tax (GST), we need to see certain identification documents.

You can provide these documents by mail – they must be certified copies as outlined below.

Don't send original documents. Certified copies of documents you mail to us may not be returned to you.

A document that has been altered, or corrected and initialled is not acceptable.

Certified copies

To certify your document, photocopy it, (ensuring any text and photograph is clear and identifiable), then take the copy and original to one of the certifiers listed below.

If your document is not in English, you must provide a written translation certified as a true and correct copy by an authorised translation service. The translation must be completed by an appropriate embassy, or a professional translation service accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI).

The certified copy must:

  • be signed by the certifier
  • be stamped (if a stamp is available)
  • include the date of certification.

The stamp must show the certifier's qualification, contact details including telephone number, and reference number (if applicable).

If the certifier does not use a stamp, or the stamp does not include their name, they should print their name underneath their signature.

A certifier should never witness documents for their family, business, clients, employer or any other person where it could create a real or perceived conflict of interest.

A certifier should never witness documents connected with matters in which they have an actual or perceived personal or financial interest.

Note: we can't accept copies certified by a registered tax agent as your ongoing commercial relationship could create a real or perceived conflict of interest for them.

ATO approved certifiers

These people can certify copies of your documents as true and correct for the ATO:

  • barrister
  • solicitor
  • doctor
  • judge
  • Justice of the Peace
  • minister of religion (who is authorised to celebrate marriage)
  • police officer
  • bank, building society or credit union officer with at least five years of service
  • sheriff's officer
  • Commissioner of Declarations (in Queensland only).

More information

To learn more about providing copies of documents, phone us on 13 28 61 between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.

If you don't speak English well and need help from the ATO, phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50.

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, phone the ATO through the National Relay Service (NRS) on the numbers listed below:

  • TTY users, phone 13 36 77 and ask for the ATO number you need
  • Speak and Listen (speech-to-speech relay) users, phone 1300 555 727 and ask for the ATO number you need
  • internet relay users, connect to the NRS on and ask for the ATO number you need.
    Last modified: 23 Aug 2016QC 23245