Inactive ABNs subject to cancellation

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Periodically, the Australian Business Register (ABR) checks its records for Australian business numbers (ABNs) and automatically cancels those that appear inactive.

These checks are occurring throughout 2018.
Sole traders, partnerships or trust ABNs may be cancelled if they have told the ATO they have stopped their business activity, declared no business income for the last two years or not lodged a business activity statement (BAS) or income tax return for more than two years.

Those with outstanding lodgements are advised to bring them up to date or face possible ABN cancellation. 

Sole traders, in particular, often have forms outstanding because they think there is no need to lodge if their income is below the tax-free threshold. However, sole traders must lodge the individual tax return including the supplementary section, and business and professional items schedule for individuals, regardless of their income.

Maintaining your ABN registration is important as the public uses ABN Lookup data to verify business and GST status