Tax File Number (TFN)
Jun 20, 2021
Content has been sourced from www.ato.gov.au
Starting your first job
It’s a good idea to organise a Tax File Number (TFN) before you start working. A tax file number (TFN) is FREE and identifies you for tax and superannuation purposes. It's yours for life! You keep the same TFN even if you change your name, change jobs, move interstate or go overseas. If you don’t have a TFN to give your employer, you will pay more tax.
To apply for an TFN you simply go through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
Apply for a TFN
Some general rules about your TFN
- Keep your TFN safe
- Do not include your TFN on your resume
- Don't let anyone else use your TFN – not even friends or relatives.
- Never give your TFN in a job application or over the internet.
- You should only give your TFN to your employer after you start working for them.
There are only a few people and places that can ask for your TFN, including:
- the ATO
- Centrelink – Services Australia
- your bank
- your employer after you start a job
- your super fund
- your registered tax agent.
When you start working
Your employer will ask you to fill out a Tax File Number Declaration Form to tell them your personal information and your TFN. Your employer uses this declaration to work out how much tax you need to pay. You have 28 days to provide the declaration to your employer. If you don't, they will have to take out more tax from your pay.
How much tax you will pay?
Your employer will deduct tax from your pay and send it to the ATO. This is called 'pay as you go withholding' (PAYG).
The amount of tax you pay depends on:
- whether you are an Australian resident for tax purposes
- how much income you earn
- whether you have a tax file number (TFN).
Superannuation, or 'super', is a part of your income that your employer pays into a super fund. Your super builds up over your working life. You use your super money to live on when you retire from work.
Find out more:
Super: what is it and why is it important
Getting paid in cash
Some employers prefer to pay you in cash instead of into your bank account. This is okay if they:
- take the right amount of tax from your pay and gives it to the ATO
- give you payslips showing how much tax you have paid
- pay the right amount of super into your super fund.
If they don't do these things, you could be getting less pay and super than you should.
Find out more:
Receiving cash for work you do
Employee or contractor
Being an employee is different from being a contractor. You are an employee if you are working in another person's business.
You are a contractor if you are self-employed and running your own business. Some employers may incorrectly treat you as a contractor or encourage you to get an Australian Business Number (ABN) to try and avoid their responsibilities.
Only people who run a business need an ABN. If your employer is incorrectly paying you as a contractor you could be missing out on things like:
- sick leave
- holiday pay
- work cover (insurance).
Find out more:
Working as an employee
Workplace rights and obligations
All people working in Australia have the same rights and protections at work. Minimum pay rates and workplace conditions are set by Australian law. The Fair Work Ombudsman can give you information and advice about your workplace rights and obligations. Check out other tips on Workplace rights and obligations or go to www.fairwork.gov.au