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Tax considerations

Do I need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN)?

The TFN is an unique identification number issued by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for identification and communicating with the ATO.

It is not mandatory to obtain a TFN, however, you may be requested to provide your TFN to your employer, or when opening a bank account.

If you do not provide your TFN, the consequences would include:

  • You may have your income withheld at the highest margin tax rate (including Medicare levy and surcharges)
  • If you don’t provide your TFN declaration to your employer, you may have additional income tax taken out from your employer contributions to your superannuation account
  • You’re neither allowed to make personal contributions to your superannuation fund nor are you entitled to superannuation co-contribution from the Government

Apply for your TFN.


What is Withholding Tax?

This is a tax applied to interest and investment income earned in Australia:

  • Non-resident withholding tax
  • Resident withholding tax where TFN is not provided

While you have a foreign address, before you arrive in Australia, you will normally be charged a withholding tax of 10% on any interest you earn on your bank accounts.

When you arrive in Australia and have an Australian address (unless you declare that you’re not an Australian tax resident) you’ll normally be charged a withholding tax of the top income tax rate plus Medicare levy and surcharges (currently 49%) if your bank does not have your TFN on record.

If for any reason your TFN is not supplied to your bank when opening account, you can still provide your TFN to your bank at any time and claim the withholding tax you’ve paid through your tax return.

Calculate your Withholding Tax.


Do I need to complete a tax return?

Australian tax residents are required to complete and file income tax return for each income year ending on 30 June, if:

  • They have tax withheld
  • Their taxable income exceeds the tax-free threshold

File your income tax return.

If you’re not a resident of Australia and you’re here temporarily, it’s likely you’ll be taxed as a non-resident, depending on your circumstances.

Generally, you’ll be an Australian resident for tax purposes if any of the following apply:

  • You’ve come to Australia and you live here permanently
  • You’re an overseas student
  • You’re visiting Australia for more than six months, and you work in the same job and live at the same place for most of that time

Check if you’re an Australian resident for tax purposes.

A non-resident is required to file income tax return for Australian income earned, other than interest and dividends (i.e. you have a rental property or Australian salaries and wages).

The links to non-NAB third parties on this page are provided as information only. NAB cannot confirm the reliability of the information or services provided by these sites.

Contact Migrant Banking


Level 8 (8.602) 700 Bourke Street,
Docklands, Victoria, 3008

Service Hours:  9:00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. AEST, (Monday to Friday)

Tel: +61 (0)3 8634 1393






New Zealand

Level 4 Quay Park,
30 Mahuhu Crescent, Auckland 1010,
New Zealand

Service Hours:  9:00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. (Monday to Friday)

Tel: +64 (0)9 976 6318