Tax file number

A TFN is a unique number issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to individuals and organisations to help manage tax and other government services. The type of TFN that you need however, can depend on your business structure.

If you operate a partnership, company or trust, your business will need its own TFN. A TFN can be obtained at the same time as an Australian Business Number (ABN), using the same application form.

Sole traders use their individual TFN in dealings with the ATO.

Registering for a TFN is an important step when starting your business as having one allows you to:

  • quote to investment bodies responsible for paying interest, dividends and unit trust distributions
  • quote to government bodies, for example the ATO, when applying for an ABN or lodging income tax returns
  • quote to employers (this applies to individuals only).

What to do...

For individuals and sole traders:

For partnerships, trusts or companies:

  • Apply for a TFN at the same time as your ABN, through the Australian Business Register website.

You can also contact the ATO on 13 28 66.

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