How to Change Your Name with ATO

Name Change

Having your full name correct with Governement agencies has never been more important.

In light of recent data breaches at large companies, like Optus and Medibank Private, ATO have increased their security around ANY changes to cleint names.

Tax Agents can no longer assist in the name change process – this is to ensure the actual person is changing their own name. Cases have surfaced of Tax Agents being instructed to change names by other family members or business associates without the actual person being aware. Driven by identity theft of fraud.

How Do You Change Your Name With ATO then?

You will need to gather some basic infortmation to allow the change to happen:

  1. Your full name
  2. Your Date of Birth
  3. Your current home address
  4. Your Tax File Number (TFN)
  5. Your last tax refund or payable amount – should you not have that they will ask other questions realting to your tax return. Your employment income etc.
  6. Your MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE, CHANGE OF NAME CERTIFICATE or DIVORCE ORDER as evidence. This must be the actual marriage certificate. Not the ceremonial one. See below.

Once you have this info follow these steps:

  1. CALL ATO on 13 28 61 Click to call and select Option 1.
  2. Have your most recent Notice of Assessment from ATO handy.
  3. ATO will need the Registration Number from the top right corner of your marriage certificate
  4. If ATO already have your mobile number on file they can send you a 6 digit code as a 2 factor authentication

Other Name Change Reasons

You may have other issues with your name at ATO such as:

  1. Missing middle name
  2. Mispelt name
  3. Short name vs full name – eg Ben vs Benjamin
  4. Australianised name vs your birth name. Frank with ATO but Fotios on birth certificate.
  5. Changing your name by choice

Why Does All This Matter?

As ATO and other Government agencies digitise and consolidate their databases they have multiple instances of each person across their different systems. Some of these have incorrect data such as names. MyGov and MyGovID are being used to centralise the identity of the human interacting with Gov to give both you and the Gov certainty that only you can access and change your own data.

Changing your name is hard because it should be hard. Having tight portocols around name changes makes it hard for fraud and identity theft to happen in the first place. This is a good thing.

Protect your private information as the experience of having your identity compromised or stolen is very traumatic and time consuming to correct. In some cases it can’t be entirely corrected.

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