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ABR will Automatically Cancel ABNs of Inactive Trusts

The Australian Business Register will be revoking the Australian Business Numbers (ABNs) of inactive trusts starting February 2016.

Those that will be targeted are entities with tax records showing that they have ceased to operate a business, meaning they have no filings of business activity statements (BAS) and/or income tax returns over the last two years.

According to the business register, about 220,000 trusts could have their ABNs cancelled.

Trusts that are listed with the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission, or are a non-reporting member of an income tax group or GST, are exempted from the ABN cancellations. However, a significant number of charities that had been inactive or had no compliance activity have already been de-registered.

A letter will be sent to trustees if their ABN has been revoked. The reason for the cancellation will be stated in the letter, as well as a phone number to call to have their registration restored. According to the government, the reinstatement will be acted upon immediately if the trustee disputes the decision, though it’s unclear if proof of activity or viability will be needed.

If your trust’s ABN is cancelled and you don’t get a letter, it’s probably because your contact information is not current on the ABN database of the Australian Business Register.

Contact your business adviser for any questions regarding ABN cancellation. Work with your accountant or bookkeeper to ensure you are compliant with BAS and/or income tax return lodgements.

PJS Accountants can help you organise your tax, accounting and bookkeeping affairs. We work with large companies, SMEs, family businesses and individuals. For enquiries, contact PJS Accountants.