You don’t have to have a TFN, but without one you pay more tax. You also won’t be able to apply for government benefits, lodge your tax return electronically or get an ABN.
You have to notify ATO if you change your name, or change your Address.
You can apply for Australian TFN if you are a:
1: Foreign passport holder;
1.1: Permanent migrant or temporary visitor.
1.2: You are already in Australia.
1.3: Your visa is one of the following:
- a permanent migrant visa
- a visa with work rights
- an overseas student visa
- a visa allowing you to stay in Australian indefinitely (including New Zealanders automatically granted a visa on arrival).
You can apply for a TFN at a participating Australia Post retail outlet if you’re an Australian resident and able to attend an interview. There is no fee for lodging a TFN application.
If you’re an Australian resident the easiest way to apply for a TFN is to:
- Complete the online form.
- Print the summary, which will include your application reference number, and take it to your Australia Post interview.
- Attend an interview at a participating Australia Post outlet within 30 days of completing your online form. You’ll need to take your printed summary and proof of identity documents to the interview.
If you’re a non-resident of Australia for tax purposes, you don’t need a TFN if you receive only interest, dividends or royalty payments from an Australian source. Non-resident withholding tax will be deducted before you receive these payments. The amount deducted will vary depending on your country of residence for tax purposes.
You need a TFN if you:
- receive income from an Australian source other than interest, dividends or royalty payments
- have a spouse who is an Australian resident and is applying for Family Tax Benefit
- need to lodge an Australian tax return or apply for an Australian business number (ABN).
You can apply for a TFN by downloading and completing Tax file number – application or enquiry for individuals living outside Australia