How to Apply for a Tax File Number


Tax File Number (TFN) is a unique reference number, which is provided to a tax-paying body in Australia. The number is assigned by the Australian Taxation Office and it is important when it comes to paying taxes and also acts as an identity of that entity. While working in Australia, it is highly recommended to have a TFN as this means that an entity will have to not only pay less tax but also get to enjoy various benefits that come with it. Once an entity receives a TFN number, that number belongs to that entity for life regardless of any changes that may make in their life.

How to apply

Australia is one of the most popular destinations for many people around the world, primarily students. This is how to apply for a tax file number for those who have a foreign passport.

Foreign passport holders, permanent migrants, or temporary visitors

To apply for a TFN the applicants must first meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a foreign passport holder, permanent migrant or temporary visitor
  • Must be in Australia
  • Must have one  of the following types of visa
    • a visa with working rights
    • an overseas student visa
    • a permanent migrant visa
    • a visa allows one to stay in Australia indefinitely (including New Zealanders automatically granted a visa on arrival)

Step 1: Have all your documents ready

For foreign passport holders, they need their passport or travel documents. This will also be used as identification documents. 

Step 2: Apply for a TFN

Applying online through the Australian Taxation Office’s website is the easiest way to apply for a TFN. Applicants will have to provide various information about themselves (date of birth, gender, country of birth, address, and so on), and also upload a scan of the necessary documents. All the information that the applicants provide must be valid. 

Step 3: Wait

The Australian Taxation Office will send the TFN number on the Australian address provided by the applicants in about 28 days. 

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