So you’ve got a new job, or perhaps you are making an application through Centrelink, or applying for an ABN. You go to fill in a form, and they are asking for your Tax File Number. But who knows their Tax File Number off the top of their head? It might be something you applied for years ago when you got your first job at McDonald’s, and you would have no idea where the original letter from the tax office is, or even recall if you received one. Thankfully, there are some ways you can find out what those six elusive digits are.

TFN – Tax File Number

A Tax File Number (TFN) is issued to you as a personal reference number used for tax and superannuation purposes. It is also used if you are receiving government benefits, lodging an online tax return and applying for an Australian Business Number (ABN). Once you have a tax file number, you have it for life no matter what changes happen in your life. So how do you keep track of it, and find it when it has become lost in the plethora of papers in your home or office?

Where Should I Look for My TFN?

If you are at home, in your office, or another place of work, the first place you can look to find quickly your TFN is an income tax notice of assessment received from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). It will be displayed on the top right-hand corner of the assessment. Other documents that should display your TFN include payslips and superannuation statements.  These documents, however, are not always readily available, and you may need to find your TFN when you are out and about.

Finding your TFN Online

In 2013 the government introduced myGov, a one-stop shop for many key government services including the ATO, Centrelink, Australian JobSearch, Medicare and My Health Record. If you run a business, you can also connect your ABN to your MyGov account, to access online government services for business. Importantly, you can view your TFN through your myGov account, so once you are registered, you will have this information at your fingertips no matter where you are. The one thing you will need is a mobile phone or another device with internet connectivity, so if you’re still faithfully using your Nokia 2100, you won’t have much luck  If all else fails, you can always call the ATO directly, or your tax agent (if you have one).

Key Takeaways

Your TFN is an important number, and if it falls into the wrong hands, can be used by another person for identity fraud. This is why you should never keep it on a piece of paper in your wallet or save it on your mobile phone. Even sending it via text message or writing it on an online form is not 100% secure. It may seem archaic, but the safest way to provide your TFN to an employer is by completing a TFN declaration form.

Bonnie-Anne Talese

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