Your tax file number (TFN) and paying tax

Illustrative representation of Your tax file number (TFN) and paying tax

When do you need a tax file number?

  • If you work or receive a Centrelink benefit you will need a tax file number (TFN).
  • Everyone gets their own TFN and it's yours for life.
  • When you start a job you will need to give your employer your TFN by completing a ‘Tax file number declaration’ form – your employer will provide this form to you.

Your TFN is given to you by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to manage your tax and super. If you need to get a TFN, or you don't know what your TFN is, contact the ATO.

How does paying tax work?

  • Once you start earning income, your employer will usually deduct tax from each pay and send it to the ATO on your behalf.
  • This is known as Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding.
  • This is done so you don't have a big tax bill at the end of the year. You can see the amount of tax that has been taken out by your employer on your pay slip.
  • Your employer will also give you a payment summary (this used to be called a 'group certificate') after the end of the financial year (30 June). It shows how much you earned and how much tax you paid in that year.
  • If any tax was taken from your pay or you earned more than $18,200 in a financial year you must put in a tax return to the ATO by 31 October.
  • If you don’t, you may face a penalty.
  • When you complete your tax return, the ATO determines if you will get a tax refund or need to pay a tax bill.

These tools can help you:

…Or you can browse Job Jumpstart for other ideas and suggestions of what to do next.