What is a Tax File Number?

A tax file number is a unique number issued to individuals or organisations by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You will find your Tax File Number on your Taxation Notice of Assessment, which is issued to you by the ATO after your tax return has been lodged and assessed. Your Tax File Number may also be on your payment summary, or any other Australian Tax Office correspondence.

Why do I need a Tax File Number?

You may be asked to supply your Tax File Number to:

Centrelink and the Family Assistance Office are committed to providing people with the support that is needed. To do this, we need to be sure that only those who should be paid are paid, and that they receive the right amount of money. For further information please see Factsheet - Tax File Numbers.

This is done by data matching with the Australian Taxation Office and other Government departments that pay benefits. To do this matching, we need to know your Tax File Number.

Centrelink and the Family Assistance Office will electronically secure your Tax File Number. No one can look at your Tax File Number on Centrelink's computer system or on your paper files. This also means that if you lose or forget your Tax File Number we cannot tell you what your number is.

Why do I need my partner’s Tax File Number?

Centrelink and the Family Assistance Office are committed to providing people with the support that is needed. To do this, we need to be sure that only those who should be paid are paid, and that they receive the right amount of money. For further information please see Factsheet - Tax File Numbers.

This is done by data matching with the Australian Taxation Office and other Government departments that pay benefits. To do this matching, we need to know your partner’s Tax File Number.

Centrelink and the Family Assistance Office will electronically secure your partner’s Tax File Number. No one can look at your partner’s Tax File Number on Centrelink's computer system or on your paper files. This also means that if your partner loses or forgets their Tax File Number we cannot tell them what their number is.

I do not have or know my Tax File Number

If you, and/or your partner, have previously provided your tax file number to Centrelink and you can authorise Centrelink to use it for this claim.

To help you apply for a Tax File Number from the Australian Taxation Office, you can obtain and print a 'Tax File Number application or enquiry for an individual' form after you have submitted this claim.

To complete a 'Tax file Number application or enquiry for an individual' form, you can:

Family Assistance payments – You are not breaking the law if you don’t give Centrelink your (or your partner’s) Tax File Number(s) but if you don’t provide it to us, you will not be paid. This means that your payments cannot start until you provide your (and/or your partner’s) Tax File Number(s).

Non-Family Assistance payments – You are not breaking the law if you don't give Centrelink your (or your partner's) Tax File Number(s) but if you don't provide it to us within twenty eight days from the date of your claim, or authorise us to obtain it from the Australian Taxation Office, you will not be paid.

Authority to use Tax file Number

If you have previously provided your Tax File Number to Centrelink you can authorise Centrelink to use it for this claim.

Do you want tax deducted from your payment?

If your only income for a tax year is the allowance you are claiming, you may not have to pay any tax. However, you may have to pay tax if you received or will receive any other taxable income in the tax year, such as salary or wages. If you think you will need to pay tax, you can ask Centrelink to deduct tax instalments from your payments.

Youth Allowance, Austudy and Age Pension are taxable payments. If you think you will have to pay tax or you want to know how much tax to have taken out of your payment, you should contact the Australian Taxation Office via the internet at www.ato.com.au or by phoning the Australian Taxation Office Personal Tax Enquiries Line on 13 2861. It is strongly advised that if you are earning other income, such as salary or wages, you are aware of this information. If you do this, you may not have to pay additional tax at the end of the financial year.

A Payment Summary (group certificate) will be sent to you when your allowance finishes and/or at the end of the financial year.

Taxable income

Taxable income is the amount remaining after you take away all your allowable deductions from your assessable income (commonly called gross income). Your taxable income is the income as assessed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and is advised to taxpayers by the ATO each year on a Notice of Assessment.

Taxable income can include:

Tax instalments

This is the amount of tax that you ask us to deduct from your Centrelink payment.

Financial year

The financial year runs from 1 July to 30 June of each year.

Child Support - Minimum Liability Initiative

Child Support - Minimum Liability Initiative

All child support payers, including those on income support payments have to pay a minimum support liability. This includes recipients of Youth Allowance (including Youth Allowance paid to parents of a Youth Allowee aged under 18 years).

The Child Support Agency (CSA) will send requests to Centrelink to deduct money, and advise Centrelink of the minimum amount that will be deducted. Centrelink cannot alter or cancel a deduction. You must contact CSA to do this.

If you require further information please contact Centrelink.

Taxable Government pensions and benefits

Taxable Government pensions and benefits

Percentage of Payment

If you select a percentage of your payment to be withheld as a tax deduction, the corresponding amount is rounded down to the nearest whole dollars. For example, 10% of $225.00 is $22.50 but the tax deduction made is $22.00.

Tax File Number Exemption for Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

In certain limited circumstances Commonwealth Seniors Health Card claimants can be exempted from providing a Tax File Number.

If any of the following applies to you and you are unable to provide your Tax File Number, then you may request an exemption. You are:

If you are in a declared natural disaster zone you can request a temporary exemption.

To request a Tax File Number exemption, please phone 13 2300. You will be required to provide proof to support your request.

Which we will use for this claim

You and/or your partner have previously advised and authorised your Tax File Number(s) for the purpose of providing payments under the Social Security Law. You do not need to provide your Tax File Number(s) again as we will apply it to your claim, unless it has changed.

Pay As You Go (PAYG)

Pay As You Go withholdings
A PAYG withholding amount is amount withheld from a payment so that the payment recipient can meet their end of year tax liabilities.

Last updated 3 December 2005.