Tax File Number - TFN - how to applySince arriving in Australia there are a number of forms and services we’ve had to apply for. To help you easily get on your feet when you finally arrive in Australia we’ll provide details of some of the basics. The first of which is applying for your Tax File Number.

OK, to start with what the heck is a Tax File Number (TFN) ?

A tax file number (TFN) is a unique number issued by the Tax Office in Australia. For those looking at moving to Australia from the UK, the TFN is pretty much the same as your National Insurance number.

When you move out to Australia, its pretty important to get your Tax File Number sorted sooner rather then later because without it, you’ll be charged tax at the highest rate (currently about 46%) on any earnings you’ll make whilst residing in Australia..

Only one TFN is issued to you for your lifetime. Once you have been issued with a TFN, there is no need to apply for another if your circumstances change – for example, if you move to another Australian State (e.g. from Western Australia to New South Wales), change jobs, change your name in any way , acquire investments, or claim government benefits.

Thankfully applying for your Tax File number is a pretty painless exercise. The Aussie Governments Taxation office have been kind enough to create a web site that enables you to do pretty much everything you would ever want to do online.

If you are a working holiday maker, a New Zealander (who are automatically granted a visa upon arrival), an oversees student, someone (like us) who has a permanent visa allowing you to stay in Australia indefinitely or someone with a business visa. All you need to do is pop over to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Web site and fill in the appropriate forms.

You’ll need your passport number as this is used to verify your existence (and check your residency illegibility and an address to which the ATO can mail your taxation number out to.

The ATO asks you to allow 28 days for your Tax File number to be processed but when we applied it only took 10 days. It really is easy as that.

At time of typing the Tax file number information can be found on the ATO website by clicking here If that link doesn’t work then pop on over to the front page of the ATO web site (http://www.ato.gov.au) and select the Tax File Number option from the Forms and Services option in the main menu on the left.