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Do I need a TFN?

It is not legally required that you obtain a TFN. However, you will need one in order to

  • lodge a tax return
  • apply for income assistance or support payments, such as pensions or benefits from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • claim the Family Tax Benefit (FTB)
  • make or receive payments under PAYG withholding
  • start work or change jobs, etc.

Naturally, this means that almost everyone needs a tax file number. The few exceptions to this rule include those who are Australian nonresidents for tax purposes who only receive interest from an Australian bank account, dividends from Australian shares, or royalty payments.