4.1.1.70 TFN Requirements for SBP

TFN must be provided

An individual cannot be paid SBP until the individual satisfies the TFN requirement (1.1.T.50) for SBP.

To satisfy the TFN requirements for SBP, an individual must provide either:

  • their TFN, if they have one and know what it is,
  • permission to use the TFN previously provided to Centrelink, OR
  • a statement that they have a TFN but do not know what it is, and
    • they have asked the Commissioner of Taxation to inform them of the TFN, and
    • authorise the Commissioner of Taxation to provide their TFN to Centrelink, OR
  • a statement that they do not have a TFN, and have applied for a TFN, and authorise the Commissioner of Taxation to:
    • provide the TFN to Centrelink, or
    • advise Centrelink if the application for a TFN is refused, or
    • advise Centrelink if the application for a TFN has been withdrawn by the claimant.

If the individual is a member of a couple (1.1.M.50), their partner must also provide a TFN or a TFN statement. If the individual is unable to provide their partner's (or previous partner's) TFN or a TFN statement, Centrelink may grant an exemption from the TFN requirements.

Declining to provide a TFN statement is not an offence, but the applicant's SBP claim may not be effective or their SBP payment may cease to be payable if a TFN statement is not provided.

Exemption from TFN requirements for an SBP claim made in normal circumstances

In some circumstances an individual may be granted an exemption from the requirement to provide their partner's TFN or TFN statement when claiming SBP in normal circumstances.

There may be situations where an individual cannot satisfy the TFN requirement because they cannot obtain a relevant statement from their partner who is a TFN claim person (i.e. their current or former partner).

Before granting an exemption from the TFN requirements, Centrelink must take into account the specific circumstances of the individual.

Centrelink may decide to grant an exemption from the TFN requirements if the individual has a sound reason to believe that if the partner were approached for a relevant statement:

  • he or she would be subject to violence from the partner, or
  • there are other concerns for the safety of the individual, or a child of the individual.

Other situations where Centrelink may also decide to grant an individual an exemption from the requirement to provide their partner's TFN or a TFN statement includes, but is not limited to, circumstances where the partner is:

  • imprisoned, or
  • seriously ill or disabled, or
  • not contactable, or
  • missing and their whereabouts are unknown.

The evidence required to support Centrelink's decision to exempt an individual's partner from providing their TFN or a TFN statement would depend on the individual circumstances of the case. Centrelink may request evidence from the individual such as travel documents, medical evidence or a statutory declaration. Evidence from a social worker may be required in some circumstances for example where the partner is violent.

Information on TFN details or application for TFN from the ATO

If the person has made a TFN statement that they have requested their TFN details or they have applied for a TFN from the ATO and Centrelink has not received any information from the ATO 28 days after the claim is made, the claim cannot be determined.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 38 How to claim, section 38A Tax file number requirement to be satisfied…, section 41A Restriction on determining claim…, section 154 General power to obtain information

Policy reference: FA Guide 5.1.3 Protection of Information

Last reviewed: 8 May 2017