Preparing for tax season is key to avoiding stress and preventing confusion over filing your taxes. A tax file number, or TFN, is an essential part of using Australia’s superannuation and tax systems. Ensuring you know your TFN and can readily access it helps make the tax process as quick and easy as possible.
We explain the answer to ‘how can I find my tax file number?’ below, including why it’s important and what to do if you can’t find it.
What is a tax file number?
A tax file number is a personal reference that connects you to the Australian tax and superannuation system. Alongside being a required document for tax filing, your TFN is also an essential part of your identity as an Australian citizen.
Ensuring you have a tax file number or applying for one is integral to ensuring you’re paying the correct amount of tax on your income.
Why do I need to find a tax file number?
Your tax file number is important for numerous reasons. If you don’t have one, you won’t be able to do the following:
- Pay the standard amount of tax as an Australian citizen
- Claim government benefits
- Lodge your tax online through an electronic platform
- Open a business with an Australian business number (ABN)
How can I find my tax file number?
The steps you take to access your tax number will vary depending on whether or not you already have a TFN connected to your name. Depending on your circumstances, here are the steps you could follow:
Steps to follow if you don't have a TFN
You can apply for one for free if you don’t yet have a TFN. Your TFN lasts a lifetime, and you’ll only need to apply once. Here’s what you need to do:
- Complete a TFN by post or online if you have an Australian passport
- Attend a participating location for your interview with proof of identity
- Sign your application and submit it to receive your TFN within 28 days
Where to look if you've lost your TFN
If you know you have a TFN, but you can’t remember it, or you’ve misplaced paperwork, there are a few steps you can take to find it:
- Login to your myGov account and look in ATO online services
- Find your income tax notice of assessment
- Look for statement of account letters from the ATO
- Ask your employer for an income statement or payment summary
- Access your superannuation account statement
If none of these methods works for you, calling the ATO directly may be the best solution.
What to do if your TFN is stolen
If you think your TFN is lost due to theft, it’s important to report this to the ATO as soon as possible on 1800 467 033. As a stolen TFN can be used to imitate you, the ATO can put security measures in place immediately if you think documents with your TFN have been stolen.
Need more help with taxes? As qualified tax agents and accountants in Mackay, Whitson Dawson has the knowledge and skills to help you handle tax season. Get in touch with our team today to learn more.