How to Find Out Your Tax File Number (2019 Update)
There are times when you won't be able to get away with not having your Tax File Number (TFN) on hand. Here's how to locate it
A Tax File Number (TFN) is like a fingerprint – it’s unique to you. Once you are issued a TFN it is yours for life, regardless of whether you change jobs or move countries. A TFN is used for all your tax records, as well as many other documents.
Partnerships, trusts and companies are required to have a separate TFN to individual TFNs. This is because partnerships and companies pay tax at a different rate to individuals. If you are a sole trader, you must use your own TFN when required to for business tax matters. This is because sole traders are taxed at the individual rate.
However. we understand that sometimes things happen resulting in you losing, misplacing or forgetting your TFN. There are ways in which you can recover this from the ATO, which we will detail below.
How to Find out your Tax File Number
Here are 5 ways to find out your TFN, should you ever need to relocate it.
1. Contact the ATO
For a direct approach, you can contact the ATO. The ATO can be reached via the number 13 28 61 between the hours 8.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. Just be prepared with your ABN or some form of identification.
If you don’t have an ABN, the ATO will require you to provide proof of identity.
2. Follow the documents
You can often find your TFN by locating the documents which state it. Your TFN will be on documents such as:
- Your income tax ‘notice of assessment’
- Any correspondence sent to you by the ATO
- Any payment summary you received while under employment at any stage of your working life
- Account statements from your superannuation fund
Further, payslips from your employer may also state your TFN.
Another way to find out your TFN is to fill out a form that the ATO provides. However, just be aware that the ATO will only process the bona fide paperwork that it provides taxpayers, therefore you may need to order a hard copy of the form. Should you need to do this you can find the form on the ATO’s ‘online ordering’ page.
4. Contact your agent
If you have used a tax agent or an accountant in the past, your can request from their records.
Finding out your Tax File Number is much easier than it seems. Individuals have many options so choose the one most convenient.
5. Log in to your myGov account
The current has introduced an online platform which you can link to the government services you use. Some examples of this include Medicare and Centrelink. You can also link your myGov account to the ATO and access your assessments, tax returns and TFN in minutes.
Some tips to keep it on hand
1. Keep it somewhere you won’t forget
Just like how you’d keep your keys in a place you won’t forget. you should so the same with your important details. Find a place in your home where you can place a document which has your TFN on it. This should either be an extremely obvious or extremely unique spot. This way you’ll remember it. One idea is to put it on your fridge or in a cabinet near your front door.
2. Keep all your documents in the one place
Keeping all your important documents in the one place means you’ll be more organised. Whether you have a filing cabinet, home office or computer file, keeping everything together will help you find what you need quickly.
3. Write it in your phone
The most helpful tip is to write it in your phone. As long as your phone is password protected, you shouldn’t have to worry about your details being compromised if your phone gets lost or stolen. Most phones these days have features where you can write short documents. Further, you could even take a screenshot of your TFN and keep it in your photo gallery. This is also a helpful tip for always having your passport details on hand.
Jackie is the Content Manager at Lawpath and manages the content team. She has a Law/Arts (Politics) degree from Macquarie University and is an admitted solicitor in the Supreme Court of NSW. She's interested in how technology can help shape the future legal landscape.