WTF is a TFN???
If you’ve ever worked, chances are you have a Tax File Number, or TFN. If you’re looking for a job ATM and you don’t have one of these babies, you’re definitely going to need to apply for one, ASAP! A TFN is what the government uses to, well, tax you. Now, none of us actually want to pay tax, but we all have to, otherwise we get into a lot of trouble with the ATO!
Applying for a TFN can be a bit of a hassle, first you have to download the online form (found here), and fill that out, then attend an interview and provide proof of your identity. This process can be frustrating, but thankfully, these days most of us can apply online using this link. If however, you can’t do it online (frankly I couldn’t figure it out), then by far the simplest way to do it (except the cheeky one below!) is to head to your local newsagent and ask for a Tax File Number form, fill it out, and post it off!
The process is different for permanent migrants or temporary visitors, so if you’re an international student, and your visa allows you to work in Australia, you’ll need to head to the ATO website and follow the prompts.
Unfortunately, like taxes and a mortgage, applying for a TFN is an inevitability, and like taxes or renewing your passport, the absolute easiest way to apply for one is to get one of your parents to do it. When I had to get one, way back when (okay, five years ago but still), I got the form from the newsagent and then gave it to my mum, kind of like those wind-shield wiper blade fitting ads on tv… step one: place form in someone else’s hand; step two: whine until they cave!