Applying For Your Tax File Number (TFN)


Your tax file number (TFN) is your personal reference number in the tax and superannuation systems.

You don’t have to have a TFN, but without one you pay more tax on any money you earn so it is best to set up one as early as possible.

If you’re enrolled to study in Australia in a course that lasts for six months or more, you’re generally regarded as an Australian resident for tax purposes.

You can apply for a tax file number online from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) if you meet these three conditions:

  • You are a foreign passport holder, permanent migrant or temporary visitor
  • You are already in Australia
  • 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 Australia indefinitely (including New Zealanders automatically granted a visa on arrival)


To apply online you must have valid passport or relevant travel documents.

You don’t have to provide proof of identity documents – the ATO will compare your personal and travel document details with Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) records.

Within 28 days, the ATO will send your TFN to the Australian address you provide on your application.

For further information on how to apply for a TFN: https://iar.ato.gov.au/IARWeb/default.aspx?pid=4&sid=1&outcome=1

(Sources: Insider Guides)