ATO to Cancel Inactive ABNs

Are Your ABNs Active and Up To Date?

To maintain accurate data, the Australian Business Register (ABR) periodically checks its records for Australian business numbers (ABNs), and automatically cancels those that appear inactive. The ABR checks are happening throughout 2018.

You may have your sole trader, partnership, or trust ABN cancelled if you have:

  • declared no business income for the last two years.

  • not lodged business activity statements or income tax returns for more than two years.

To avoid ABN cancellation, ABN holders with outstanding lodgments need to bring these up to date.

Sometimes ABN holders have forms outstanding because they think they don't need to lodge if their income is below the tax-free threshold. Regardless of your income, you need to:

  • lodge your individual tax return, including the supplementary section.

  • lodge your business and professional items schedule for individuals.

  • pay your IAS, and if Nil you must lodge a Nil.

It is important that ABR information remains current, as the public uses ABN Lookup data to verify business and GST status. If your ABN is no longer operated as a business, you can update your business structure and cancel your ABN. If you decide to start running your business again, you can easily reapply.

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