An individual cannot be paid baby bonus until the individual satisfies the TFN requirement (1.1.T.50) for baby bonus.
To satisfy the TFN requirements for baby bonus, an individual must provide either:
If the individual is a member of a couple (1.1.M.50), their partner must also provide a TFN statement. If the individual is unable to provide their partner's (or previous partner's) TFN statement, Centrelink may grant an exemption from the TFN requirements.
In some circumstances an individual may be granted an exemption from the requirement to provide their partner's TFN statement when claiming baby bonus 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).
Centrelink must consider the specific circumstances of an individual's claim when making a decision to grant an exemption from the TFN requirements.
An exemption from the TFN requirements may be granted if Centrelink is satisfied that the individual has a sound reason to believe that if the partner were approached for a relevant statement:
Other situations where Centrelink may also decide to grant an individual an exemption from the requirement to provide their partner's TFN statement includes, but is not limited to, circumstances where the partner is:
Where an individual has difficulty in obtaining their partner's TFN, Centrelink may request or consider any evidence provided by the individual. The evidence must demonstrate reasonable justification why the individual cannot provide their partner's TFN.
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 e.g. where the partner is violent.
Example 1: Simone recently had a baby and is claiming baby bonus. Simone does not know her partner's TFN. He has a severe disability following an accident that prevents him from working again. He does not have any other source of income. It is not expected that he will ever have to lodge another tax return. Simone provides evidence of her partner's condition and the customer service officer (CSO) considers that an exemption from the requirements to provide her partner's TFN statement applies.
Example 2: Sally is an Australian who lives in Brisbane. Her husband, Ricardo, resides in Argentina and is trying to obtain a visa to come to Australia to be with his family.
Sally applies for baby bonus, following the birth of her son. Sally's claim for baby bonus is not granted as she has not provided her partner's TFN. Ricardo does not have a TFN and the CSO advises Sally that her husband should lodge an application for a non-resident TFN with the ATO. Sally picks up the form from a service centre and sends it to her husband in Argentina.
The non-resident TFN application requires Ricardo to provide 2 original documents (or certified copies) for proof of identity, one of which must be his birth certificate or passport. Ricardo does not have possession of his passport or birth certificate as they are being held by the Argentinian authorities in order to obtain a police certificate for his visa application. Due to rioting and civil unrest in Argentina, it is not known when Ricardo will get these documents back as the current situation has delayed processing times for police certificates. When Ricardo lodged his documents he received a receipt from the Argentinian authorities, so Sally provides this to the CSO. She also provides a copy of the travel advice about the current security situation in Argentina from the Australian Government's Smart Traveller website.
The CSO considers the evidence provided by Sally and grants an exemption to the requirement that she provides a TFN for her husband. Sally is granted baby bonus.
Example 3: Tara has recently given birth to a baby girl and she lodges a baby bonus claim. When filling out the claim form, Tara and her husband George forget to check and provide George's TFN. Since signing and lodging the claim form, George has flown to Europe to work for 3 months. Tara decides not to ask George for his TFN as she does not wish to disturb him while he is overseas working. She tells the CSO that she cannot get her husband's TFN. In this circumstance Tara has not provided reasonable evidence or justification as to why she cannot provide her partner's TFN to Centrelink. She is not granted an exemption from the TFN requirements and her claim is made not effective (1.1.E.10).
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, and the claim is taken never to have been made.
Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 38 How to claim, section 38A Tax file number requirement to be satisfied for claims for baby bonus in normal circumstances to be effective, section 41A Restriction on determining claim where tax file number not provided etc., section 154 General power to obtain information
Last reviewed: 20 September 2013