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Australian Tax File Number (TFN)

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Required by employers, a Tax File Number (TFN) is vital for any temporary visitor to Australia looking to gain employment while they're there (such as a working holiday maker).

Please note: You can apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) online ONLY if you are currently in Australia.

What is a Tax File Number?

A Tax File Number (TFN) is a unique number issued to individuals and organisations to help administer tax and other Australian Government systems.

It is not compulsory to have a TFN. However, if you do not have one you may have more tax withheld than you need to or be unable to receive government benefits you are entitled to.

Please note: The TFN is ONLY for temporary visitors to Australia who have a visa that allows them to work while they are there. Only one TFN will be issued to you during your lifetime, even if you change your circumstances such as your name or residency. You should keep your TFN secure at all times and advise the government if you change your name or address so they can update your details.

Getting a Tax File Number

By visiting the Australian government's registration page, you can apply for a TFN online.  The application process is relatively simple, but could take up to 20 minutes.

Applying for an Australian TFN should take about 20 minutes. You will be asked to enter details including your passport or travel document number, a postal address in Australia where your TFN can be sent, your legal name and other names you use or have used and contact details for yourself or your preferred contact person.

The TFN will then be approved within 28 days of you making your application. If you applied online, then you should have seen a receipt of your application at the end of the process which should act as evidence so you can work for an employer until your application is approved.

Once your TFN has been processed, it will be sent to you via post. You will be able to work if you do not have a TFN or whilst you are applying but if you do not produce your TFN within 28 days you will be taxed the highest amount possible from your employer.

More Tax File Number information

If you already have a TFN but do not know what it is, go through the above application process and indicate when asked that you already have a TFN. A notice with your TFN will be forwarded to you.

If you know your TFN but wish to advise the Tax Office of changes to your details, go through this application process and enter your updated details.