What is a Tax File Number?
A Tax File Number (TFN) is a unique identifier issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to each taxpaying entity which includes individuals and companies as well as superannuation funds, partnerships or even trusts. The TFN was initially brought in as a better means for the ATO to organise itself but now it’s used for income and other data matching, a bit like national insurance. This means that TFNs may be recorded or used only for specifically authorised tax-related purposes. Basically, the nine digit number contains a lot of information and is crucial for the ATO to work out who’s paying what tax.
Do I need a Tax File Number?
Short answer, yes. One requirement for working in Australia is that you have to get a TFN before you start your first job to ensure that you will be taxed correctly, you can even apply for one once you receive your visa. Of course, some employers will work cash in hand and you may just want to volunteer. However, if you do want to be paid in a legitimate job you will need a TFN or you will pay more tax and you will struggle to find work.