You are here

12.3.4 Exclusion/Exemption from Supplying Tax File Number

Last amended 
28 February 2022
Discretionary power to waive tax file number requirement

The Secretary has discretionary powers to waive the requirement to provide a tax file number. This ensures that pensioners are not disadvantaged or caused undue stress because of specific individual circumstances.    

More →


Exemptions from providing person's tax file number

The requirement to provide a tax file number can be waived when a pensioner:

  • has profound physical or mental impairment that prevents supplying their tax file number;
  • receives a blinded service pension or blinded income support supplement;
  • resides in a nursing home or a similar institution;
  • is homeless;
  • has been in receipt of a service pension for 10 years or more and has a minimal additional income from any source including disability compensation payment
  • is over 80 years of age; or
  • has already provided their tax file number in respect of another payment.

Please contact if further information regarding a tax file number exemption is required.

Exemptions from providing partner's tax file number

The Secretary may waive the requirement for a statement of the tax file number of a person's partner or non-illness separated spouse if satisfied that:

  • the person does not know that number;
  • they cannot obtain the number, a statement of that number or a declaration by the partner of non-illness separated spouse;
  • the partner could become violent to the client or child; or
  • there would be other concerns for the safety or health of the client or child.
Exclusion from supplying tax file number

The following persons are excluded from supplying a tax file number to DVA:

  • pensioners who do not reside in Australia;
  • persons only in receipt of DFISA payment from DVA (DFISA ceased 1 January 2022);
  • persons not being paid by DVA and whose income is not considered when assessing their partner's entitlement;
  • pensioners only in receipt of an adequate means of support pension; and
  • Papua New Guinea nationals receiving disability compensation payment.    More →




A TFN is a number issued by the Australian Taxation Office to individuals, partnerships, trusts or companies. Each taxpayer has unique TFN which must be declared when you:

  • loge a tax return,
  • apply for certain income assistance or support payments,
  • make or receive payments under Prescribed or Reportable Payment System,
  • start or change jobs,
  • have savings accounts or investments that earn income, or
  • study at a tertiary institution under the HECS Scheme.

A service pension is an income support payment broadly equivalent to the social security age and disability support pensions. It may be paid once a veteran or partner has reached the nominated age or is incapacitated for work.

ISS is an income support payment that may be paid to eligible war widows and widowers under the VEA and persons receiving wholly dependent partners' compensation under the MRCA, and who satisfy the means tests. It is an indexed rate, increased twice-yearly in March and September in line with changes to the cost of living and/or average wages. Income Support Supplement (ISS) legislation commenced on 20 March 1995. It is a payment created to replace the ceiling rate income support age, carer, wife and disability support pensions, paid to war widows/widowers by Centrelink.



Disability compensation payment (known before 2022 as disability pension), for the purposes of service pension, income support supplement and veteran payment, means:

  • a pension paid by way of compenstion for incapacity from war caused conditions, or peacetime, peacekeeping or hazardous service caused conditions (other than a war widow's or orphan's pension); or
  • temporary incapacity allowance; or
  • any other payment in respect of incapacity or death resulting from war or war-like operations in which the Crown has been engaged (usually paid by another Commonwealth country).

Please note that the Disability Compensation Payment is legally a pension by way of compensation under the VEA so that concessional benefits under state, territory and local government legislation to pensioners/pensions under the VEA are not denied.


Australia is defined in the Acts Interpretations Act 1901 and includes the following territories and Islands:

  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Subsection 5Q(1) of the VEA provides specifically that the definition of Australia includes the external territories for many VEA purposes including Part III, IIIAB, some parts of Part IIIB, Parts IIID, VIIA, VIIC and sections 52ZO, 58A, and 132.  Norfolk Island is currently the only external territory of Australia. For the above VEA sections, which cover service pension, [glossary:income support supplement:118], pension bonus, pension loans scheme, Veterans supplement, pension supplement and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card purposes it is considered to be part of Australia. The test of residing in Australia does not by itself satisfy the full definition of Australian Resident, as residency also requires Australian citizenship or the holding of a specified visa.

Papua New Guinea and Nauru have both previously been external territories of Australia.  Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island, formerly regarded as separate islands, are now part of mainland NSW and Tasmania respectively.



The information below is for historical reference only.

Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA) ceased on 1 January 2022 because adjusted disability income became exempt income under the Social Security Act 1991.  It was an income support payment paid by DVA to people whose income support payment under Social Security Law was reduced, or not payable, because of the impact of adjusted disability pension. DFISA was the difference between the person's existing entitlement, and what the entitlement would have been had adjusted DP been exempt, but was assessed in the calculation of rent assistance.



A form of pension that prior to 6 June 1985 was granted to the dependants of a veteran whose death was service related where those dependants were without “adequate means of support”.  Dependants who could be paid the pension included the wife, husband, widow(er), child, parent or other members of the veteran's family. AMS pensions could also be granted to the invalid child of an incapacitated veteran.

From 6 June 1985, there have been no new grants of AMS pensions, however, a small number of AMS pensions are still in payment.