Lost TFN? 5 Ways to Find Your Tax File Number

Have a lost TFN? Learn how to find out your tax file number, or how to get a tax file number if you never received one. Call the ATO for a TFN lookup.

Can’t Find Your TFN? Let’s get down to business.

In order to lodge a tax return, you’ll need your tax file number (TFN). Even if your name or residency changes, your TFN will remain the same throughout your life. In other words, it’s something you’ll want to memorize or hold onto. We understand that memorizing this random combination of numbers is easier said than done. If you forgot your TFN, there’s more than one way to find it.


5 (easy)Ways to Find Your Tax File Number

If you can’t find your TFN anywhere, try looking on these documents:

  1. an income tax notice of assessment
  2. any correspondence from the ATO
  3. a payment summary
  4. a superannuation member statement


     5. you can phone the ATO directly at 13 28 61


Why You’ll Need to Find Your TFN

Without a TFN, you’ll be limited on what you can do.

If you forgot your Tax File Number,  it’s a good idea to look through the documents mentioned above or call the ATO in order to find it as soon as possible.

As mentioned, you’ll need to find out your Tax File Number in order to lodge an Australian tax return.  You’ll also need your TFN in order to do the following;

  • lodge an Australian tax return
  • ask the ATO a question about your taxes
  • apply for income assistance or support payments
  • claim the Family Tax Benefit
  • use PAYG withholding
  • start a new job, which includes filling out a tax file number declaration or withholding declaration
  • earn income from a savings account or investment
  • receive a HELP payment
  • join a superfund

If you’re an Australian nonresident, you won’t need a TFN to earn interest from an Australian bank account, dividends from Australian shares, or royalty payments.


What To Do If You’ve Never Had a TFN

If you’ve never received a Tax File Number in the first place, you can apply for a tax file number online. However, after applying, you’ll be required to print the application summary documents and attend an interview at a nearby Australian Post Office within 30 days.

Not sure where the closest Australian Post Office is? Here’s an Australian Post Office list that will help you find an outlet near you.


Have a TFN? Get Started on Your Tax Return Today!

Whether you lost your TFN or never had one in the first place, you’ll be able to lodge your current year tax return once you have your tax file number!

If you missed doing a previous year tax return because of your missing TFN, you’ll also be able to get caught up on your late tax return with E-Lodge!



Updated 4 August 2016


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40 Responses to “Lost TFN? 5 Ways to Find Your Tax File Number”

  1. jennifer gopala says:

    I have a new job and payer needs my tax file

  2. Gursevak says:

    i am not receive my tfn my tfn taking more than 30 days .

  3. william maher says:

    ive lost my tfn when i moved to perth just wondering if you can resend it out to me

  4. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi William,

    If you have lodged with us before, please contact us directly. For any pertinent information, our tax experts will need to verify your personal information first.

  5. Grant Wilford Auld says:

    I have missed place my TFN. I am not sure but I think I may have thrown it out with other school paper work. I have not used my TFN as of yet since I received it last year (2014). Would it be possible for the ATO to send me a copy or replacement TFN OR tell me how to recover a new one?

  6. Kyle Hayden woollard says:

    I want to find out my tax file number please

  7. John Dan Chow says:

    Need tfn for new job

  8. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi John,

    Congrats on the new job!

    If you do not have a TFN currently, you can always apply for one on the ATO website. The website will walk you through the process as well as provide you with links to further questions that you may have.

  9. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Kyle,

    If the above article did not offer you the answers you were looking for, feel free to take a look at another article on our blog about how to find your TFN.

    If you have lodged your return with E-Lodge before, then contact us directly via phone, email or live chat and one of our tax experts will be able to help you further.

  10. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Grant,

    Not to worry. You can phone the ATO directly at 13 28 61 and they should be able to help you retrieve it.

  11. Michael Cassidy says:

    Hi, I’m looking for my dad’s tax file number in order to search for lost super. He is 86 year old and how do I go abouts obtaining his TFN? Please advise

  12. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Michael,

    If the ways listed above haven’t worked for you and/or your father, contact the ATO directly. Your father should be able to verify his personal information over the phone and obtain his tax file number.

  13. Pritpal Singh says:

    Visited australia in 1996 on short stay
    Visa for three month and got tax file no and worked for two months and come back to india . If I again enter australia as vistor on vistor visa can I work on the same tax file or apply for p r

  14. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Prital,

    Your TFN will not expire. It is yours for your entire life. However, it can be deactivated. After a long period of time, it will be automatically deactivated. You will need to call the ATO to get it reactivated. This should not take longer than 10 minutes.

  15. Philip says:

    Hi my wife used to work in Australia and we are trying to claim refunds but she can’t remember her TFN how should we go about getting it again ?? Thanks

  16. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Philip,

    As stated in the article, your wife can access her TFN using any of the 5 ways mentioned:
    1. an income tax notice of assessment
    2. any correspondence from the ATO
    3. a payment summary
    4. a superannuation member statement OR
    5. you can phone the ATO directly at 13 28 61

  17. Tajinderjeet Singh says:

    I have lost my tax file number.

  18. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Tajinderjeet,

    As stated in the article above, there are several convenient ways to access your lost TFN. If you have exhausted these solutions, your best bet would be to contact the ATO. They will be able to provide you with your TFN after verifying your credentials.

  19. Lisa says:

    Hi, if I call the ATO at 13 28 61 about me losing my letter that showed me my tax file number. Are they able to tell me my tax file number on the spot or do they send a letter again where I must wait 28 days?
    And also, what kind of questions will they ask me to ensure I’m the right owner of the tax file number? Thank you 🙂

  20. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Lisa,

    As per the ATO website, they insist that you phone them directly so that a representative can assist you. Some information to have handy is your permanent address that they have on file for you, a phone number, your date of birth, etc.

  21. todd duffield says:

    Require my tax file number as I have missed placed it thank you

  22. brock says:

    Gday. Im attempting to check my details and link my ato with .gov.I dnt have any paperwork what so ever due to moving around a lot ,the only reference i have is the tfn my last employer put on my summary. I’m assuming my tfn I have is not correct as I’m sure my name and birthdays are th same haha. How can I check my tfn is correct. As I can’t sign in to ato. Cheers

  23. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Todd,

    If you do not remember your TFN, you can use one of the methods mentioned in the article above. If all else fails and you are sure that you have one already, I suggest phoning the ATO directly. They will be able to assist quickest in locating your TFN.

  24. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Brock,

    If you’ve lost your TFN or are unsure if it is correct, you can use any of the ways listed in the article above to locate it. If these routes have been exhausted, your best bet is to ring the ATO directly at 13 28 61. They will be able to verify your personal information and assist you in locating your TFN. Another option would be for you to contact your tax preparer that you lodged your most recent tax return with. They should still have your account on file and may be able to assist in locating your TFN.

  25. sale tubuna says:

    I used to live and work in Australia but I have left and now back in my country in Fiji.
    I have forgotten my Tax file number and I need it so I can apply for my superannuation.
    Could someone tell me how do I go about finding my tax file number? please

  26. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Sale,

    If you have tried all of the listed ways to retrieve your lost TFN, you’ll need to contact the ATO. You can ring them at 13 28 61 between 8am and 8pm Monday-Friday, between 10am and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

  27. Dawn says:

    I have misplaced my tfn number when I went to NZ and now I’m back could I please get it emailed to me asap

  28. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Dawn,

    In order to access a lost TFN, you can use any of the solutions listed above. If you lodged with us, give us a call and our tax team will be able to assist you.

  29. Rachel says:

    I was given a tfn decades ago, and never used it. Is it still around for me to find?

  30. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Your TFN will never expire. It is unique to you for your lifetime. You can use any of the tips discussed in the article to locate your TFN.

  31. Suluafi suluafi says:

    Need my tfn please

  32. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Suluafi,

    You are able to locate your TFN in any of the five ways listed in the article above. If you need further assistance, it would be in your best interest to contact the Australian Tax Office. They can assist you in locating your TFN or applying for one in general.

  33. nora says:

    hi I forgot my tax file number can you help me get it pls

  34. Jennifer says:

    I recently lost my letter which contains my TFN and I don’t know my tfn, so today I called ATO and asked if they can retrieve my TFN and resend the letter to my house. ATO said that they will not resend my TFN through the mail. I really need my tfn because I recently got a job and they’re asking for it and I don’t have any supporting documents with my tfn. I need help

    I’m 17 years old if that helps

  35. Jessica says:

    I need a tax file number but im 20 and I don’t have any form of photo i.d at all. What and how do i get a tax file number? Any ideas/help

  36. Linh Tran says:

    How can I find out the day which I received my TAx file number . Thank you!

  37. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Linh,

    In order to find out the exact date, you will need to contact the entity you applied with for the TFN. This will most likely be the ATO as they will definitely have this information.

  38. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    Did the ATO mention the alternative to having them mail your TFN? I suggest contacting them once more and asking how you can retrieve it if not through the mail.

  39. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Jessica,

    Since it is necessary for you to have a photo ID to apply for a TFN, you’ll need to either apply for one before applying for a TFN or contact the ATO directly to see what you should do without a photo ID.

  40. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Nora,

    If you have tried to retrieve your TFN using the ways listed in the article and they haven’t worked, I suggest contacting the ATO directly. They have access to your TFN and should be able to provide you with it once you verify your identity.

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