The Australian National Insurance Number

Old Parliament Building, Canberra, ACT.  Photo credit: Australian Capital Tourism

Tax File Number (TFN)

Do I need an Australian NI number?
All that adventure, excitement and discovery that awaits you. And here we are talking about tax. Sorry about that.

To earn money in Australia (whether from earnings, savings or somewhere else) you need the equivalent of a National Insurance number. In Australia it’s called a TFN (tax file number).

You can only get it once you arrive in Australia, and although (technically) you can work without it, you wouldn’t want to. Start work without a TFN and you’ll be taxed at 46.5%, meaning you’ll never see 46.5% of what you earn. Ouch.

Apply for your TFN at a local tax office or online via the Australian taxation website and keep more of the money you earn.


A TFN is for life


Once you’ve got a TFN it’s yours for life, even if you leave Australia and return years later.

The TFN links you to your tax records so you MUST keep it safe. Don’t share it with anyone, especially not online.

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