From February onwards, the registrar of the Australian Business Register will begin cancelling the Australian business numbers (ABNs) of certain trusts.
The targeted trusts are entities for which tax records indicate that they are no longer carrying on an enterprise. The business register forecasts that approximately 220,000 trusts could be in line to have their ABN struck out.
ABN cancellations are to be initiated where the tax data matching indicates no lodgement of business activity statements and/or trust income tax returns in the past two years.
Exclusions to these ABN cancellations apply to trusts that are registered with Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission or are a non-reporting member of a GST or income tax group. However, there has been significant activity in the deregistering of charities for dormant or no compliance activity.
The government says trustees will receive a letter if their ABN has been cancelled. The letter will include the reason for the cancellation, and a phone number to ring to get the ABN reinstated. The government says this should be able to be affected immediately if a trustee does not agree with the decision, although it is not clear if evidence of activity or viability will be required.
If you have a trust and its ABN is cancelled you do not receive a letter, it could mean your contact details are not up to date on the Australian Business Register’s ABN database.