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Why Do I Need a Tax File Number?

A Tax File Number (TFN) is your personal reference number, used for the Australian tax and superannuation systems. This essentially means that everyone working within Australia needs a TFN.

If you do not have a TFN, you cannot file your tax returns online with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). While having a TFN is not compulsory, there are many important reasons to have one.

What Will Happen If I Don’t Get a Tax File Number?

While you can certainly live in Australia without having a TFN, it will stop you from doing a lot more than just filing your tax returns with the Australian Government (as anyone working should be on an annual basis).

Most importantly, you will pay more tax!

The following are also things that you won’t be able to do without a TFN while living, working or studying in Australia for any length of time:

  • Your tax returns are unable to be processed electronically, making it a lot harder to meet your tax obligations, and you’ll potentially miss out on getting money back from the government – even if its owed to you.
  • You won’t be able to apply for any government benefits.
  • It will be harder for the tax office to look up your records and be able to discuss them with you.
  • You will not be able to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN), if you wanted to start your own business.
  • You will pay more tax on your employer’s super contributions and your super fund won’t be able to accept any voluntary contributions from you.
  • You will not be able to file a PAYG foreign resident withholding variation application.

How Do I Get a Tax File Number?

The methods available to apply for a TFN depends on your circumstances. If you’re an Australian resident, you can apply at Australia Post, at a Centrelink (DHS) centre or by post. For details of other methods, visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

For more information on how this could impact on your superannuation, contact us at Nationwide Super.

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