TFN Revision (TR) submission

The department is working with the ATO to support nightly transfer of student HELP data from July 2017. This new capability will apply to all data reported with 2017 census dates.

The new process requires each TFN to be verified as belonging to a student before their associated HELP debt can be transferred to the ATO. Currently only encrypted TFNs can be reported to the ATO.

There is no change to the way you currently submit your student data to HEIMS. Every time you submit a student record, the TFN will be automatically sent for verification (checking) with the ATO. If the student's TFN and personal details match, the student's HELP debt will be transferred to the ATO that night.

What if students' details don't match?

If a student's TFN can't be matched with the details held by the ATO, you will receive an automated email to advise you that TFN verification has failed. This email will be generated the same day you submit your data. A new report will be available on HEIMS Online from July to provide you with the additional information you need to identify students that could not be matched.

You will then need to update and resubmit the student/s corrected details. To help you do this in the simplest way possible, we are introducing a new file type - the TFN Revision (TR) submission. This is a stand-alone submission, and does not require or link to any other file in HEPCAT when you submit revised TFN information.

TFN verification

Please note that you will only need to use this submission if you receive notification that a student's TFN could not be verified by the ATO.

What does the TR submission look like?

The TR submission includes just the elements the ATO requires to verify a student's TFN. This is a subset of the elements reported in the existing HELP DUE submission and has been designed so that you can simply import an existing DU submission into the TR submission. HEPCAT will only import the required fields for validation and submission to HEIMS.

So if a TFN cannot be verified by the ATO, you will have three options to correct the student's personal information and resubmit the details to HEIMS:

  • manually enter the data directly into the fields in the TR submission in HEPCAT - usually best suited to correcting one or a small number of records
  • create a TR submission and import just the corrected records in the current HELP Due submission format. HEPCAT will accept the DU format and transfer just the values it requires to HEIMS
  • create a TR submission and import the corrected records into the new file structure – you will need to create a new file format for this option (e.g. build a new TR submission type or convert a spreadsheet to a text file format)

The corrected data will then be re sent to the ATO for verification.

Once the TFN has been verified, the student's HELP debt records will be sent to the ATO in that night's data transfer.

Can I verify a student's TFN at any time?

Currently this submission can only be used to verify a student's TFN when you have submitted a HELP debt record for the student. We are exploring options with our IT colleagues to see if we can use this submission to verify a student's TFN any time during the year, not just at the time of data submission.

We'll keep you informed of our progress on this.


We would appreciate your feedback on this new submission.

We are also seeking your advice on what information you would like to see included in the new HEIMS Online report to help you identify the student/s whose TFNs could not be verified.

Please provide us with your feedback by 21 April 2017.

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TFN Revision (TR) submission

Type of record and element name Element number Position Width Data type
Student identification code 313 1-10 10 Alphanumeric
Tax file number 416 11-21 11 Numeric
Date of birth 314 22-29 8 Numeric
Filler 26 spaces N.A. 30-55 26 Alphanumeric
Student surname 402 56-85 30 Alphanumeric
Student given name – first 403 86-100 15 Alphanumeric
Student given name – others 404 101-130 30 Alphanumeric
Filler 130 spaces N.A. 131-260 130 Alphanumeric
Address of permanent home residence – part 1 410 261-298 38 Alphanumeric
Address of permanent home residence – part 2 411 299-336 38 Alphanumeric
Residential address – suburb/town 469 337-363 27 Alphanumeric
Residential address – state 470 364-366 3 Alphanumeric
Address of permanent home residence – postcode 413 367-370 4 Alphanumeric
Residential address – country name 471 371-390 20 Alphanumeric
Filler 19 spaces N.A. 391-409 19 Alphanumeric

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