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Keeping track of your tax file number

Started ‎11 June 2021 by
Modified ‎11 June 2021 by

A tax file number (TFN) is your personal reference number in the tax and superannuation systems.

You need your TFN when starting a new job, applying for government benefits, lodging a tax return or applying for higher education loans.

How do I apply for a TFN?

It’s free to apply for a TFN. 

There are different application processes depending on your tax residency status:

If your application is successful, you’ll receive a TFN notification letter in the mail.  This should happen within 28 days of us receiving your completed application and required documents. 

I paid for a TFN online – have I been scammed?

Although you can get a TFN for free through us, it is legal for registered tax professionals to charge for this service. Rest assured, if you’ve paid for a TFN, you’ll likely still receive it within 30 days. Contact us if this doesn’t happen.

If you believe you’ve been scammed by someone impersonating the ATO, you can submit a scam report on our website and we will investigate.

If you have any concerns about a tax professional, you can lodge a complaint with the Tax Practitioners Board.

Where can I find my TFN?

If you already have a TFN but can’t find it, you may be able to locate it:

  • in your ATO online services account accessed via MyGov
  • on a payment summary or income statement from your employer
  • on your income tax notice of assessment, or other letters from us
  • on your superannuation account statement.

If you use a registered tax professional, they also have a record of it.

If still can’t find your TFN, you’ll need to contact us.

Can't find the answer to your question here?

You can ask the Community or read more about tax file numbers over on our website.

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