Australian Tax File Number, Why Should you Get One?

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Are you relocating down under? Definitely get an Australian tax file number as soon as you get there.

It is still good to get a tax file number even if you are going there for study or for temporary work.

Or if you live overseas but have investments in Australia that generate income for you.

What investments?

For example properties or a business. Find out details by visiting

You need your tax file number, or TFN, as everyone calls it, to do your tax return after the end of each financial year, which is 30 June.

Between that date and October 31 you should put your papers in order and be able to have all the documents that show how much money you made during the financial year.

This includes, for example, how much you earned in your job, or jobs if you have more than one, how much interest you received on your savings, or dividends on your shares, how much rent you received from properties you own. Then lodge your Australian tax return.

You need to quote your TFN:

  • for example when you get a job, 
  • when you open a bank account,
  • for various financial transactions.

It is not mandatory to provide your TFN to employers, banks or other financial institutions, but if you don't, you would be paying too much tax.

Because without a TFN on your records, whatever you earn is taxed at the highest tax rate (the top marginal rate).

Even if you are among the lucky ones whose income attracts the highest tax rate, you still need your TFN. As the saying goes, taxes are certain but income is not...

So whether you earn a lot or if you are like the majority, whose actual tax rate is below the marginal rate, apply for an Australian tax file number and tell your employer what it is.

With a TFN, you make your money work harder for you, by not paying more tax than you should.

How to Get a Tax File Number

australian tax file number - example

To get a TFN visit the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website and follow the instructions or go to an ATO location. Check where they are located on their website.

You will also find there how much you have to pay for what you earn and an Australian tax calculator too.

Your tax file number is unique, goes with you everywhere and does not change even if you change your name, get married, or divorce.

Find on the ATO website whether you need to apply for a TFN if you do not live in Australia, but you receive income there. Usually you should have a tax number. For example you may have a business there or a property that you rent to others. This means you get money and money is almost always associated with tax.

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