Tax file declaration form (TFN): How to lodge online

5 min read ·  

This quick guide explains how to lodge a tax file number declaration form to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) online without having to print, type, or scan a thing.  We’ll cover why you need to complete a TFN dec and detail the traditional method of lodging the form using the ATO business portal. Then, a far simpler method using ATO compliant digital onboarding software. 

If your business has employees, it’s important that you withhold tax from their wages and salaries. This money must be forwarded to the ATO for payment at regular intervals. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is the government agency that ensures Australians pay their taxes correctly. In order to do that, they produce schedules to help employers calculate the correct amount to withhold from employees’ wages. If you do not fill out your tax file number declaration form within 28 days of starting a new job, you will be taxed at a rate of 47%.

Option 1 – The traditional method of lodging a tax declaration form via the ATO Business Portal

One option to lodge the tax file number (TFN) Declaration form online via the ATO business portal has existed for some time.  While many employers still distribute paper forms to new employees, the ATO will now accept a digitally signed form which is a welcome advancement.

You can find the Tax file number declaration form supplied by the Australian Taxation Office here. From there, simply complete the form either digitally or by printing onto A4 paper and filling it out by hand.

This method of lodging through the ATO business portal still has major limitations not yet addressed by the tax office:

❌There are no digital “checks” available to reduce errors in the ATO digital form.

❌Paper forms are prone to manual entry errors.

❌Duplication of work is required to enter this data again into accounting or payroll software.

❌The ATO form is more complex than other methods available.

To lodge directly through the ATO website you will need to have an ATO business portal account. Copies of the process and the digital version of the TFN Declaration form are located here.

Option 2 – The more efficient method using the ATO-compliant Tanda Onboarding tool

This faster option to lodge a tax declaration form forms uses Tanda’s software which meets ATO compliance requirements and lodges forms directly.  Not only is this option faster, but it solves the major limitations of the traditional TFN Declaration form.

The form is compliant with ATO ‘SBR’ requirements, meaning Tanda collects all the required information but using an easier format.

The benefits of using Tanda Onboarding include:

✅Inbuilt logic to pick up incorrect TFN numbers, and assist to catch common mistakes before they happen.

✅The fastest method available by eliminating the need to double enter form responses.

✅Automatically create the employee in MYOB or Xero Payroll systems to eliminate errors and save time.

✅Tanda Onboarding is the simplest method available to collect the required information. 

How it works:

  • Send a link to Tanda Onboarding directly to the employee by email or text message 
  • Instantly collect the receipt of the tax declaration form on completion by the employee
  • Allow you to lodge the form directly to the ATO with no data entry required
  • Send the employee automatically to MYOB or Xero 

Onboarding Overview - tax file number declaration

Automate more than just the tax declaration form

Tanda Onboarding also partners with accounting systems MYOB & Xero to provide automatic transfer of the details filled out in Tanda Onboarding to your new employee in your payroll file.

Tanda Onboarding will still work and lodge the TFN Declaration with all other systems.

This means you can not only collect all the required payroll documentation but also automatically create the new employee in MYOB or Xero with no manual entry required.

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