A tax file number (TFN) is a unique number issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to individuals and organisations.
Partnerships, companies and trusts need their own TFN.
A TFN can be obtained at the same time as an Australian business number (ABN), using the same application form.
Sole traders use their individual TFN in dealings with the ATO.
Some of the main reasons for having a TFN are:
- to quote to employers - applies to individuals only
- to quote to investment bodies responsible for paying interest, dividends and unit trust distributions
- to quote to government bodies - eg the ATO when applying for an ABN or lodging income tax returns.
Apply for a TFN
Individuals can apply for a TFN through the ATO's website or phone the ATO on 1300 720 092.
Partnerships, trusts and companies can apply for a TFN on the ATO's Australian Business Register website at the same time as applying for an ABN.
Tax file number essentials - Australian Taxation Office