Inactive ABNs will be cancelled

Apr09

Inactive ABNs will be cancelled

Flor- Hanly - Monday, April 09, 2018

Sole traders, partnerships and trusts take note


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:

  • told the ATO you have stopped your business activity
  • declared no business income for the last two years
  • not lodged business activity statement or income tax returns for more than two years

To avoid ABN cancellation, bring any outstanding lodgements up to date.


Sometimes sole traders have forms outstanding because they think they don’t need to lodge if their income is below the tax-free threshold. Sole traders need to lodge the following regardless of income:

  • individual tax return including the supplementary section
  • business and professional items schedule for individuals
It is important ABR information remains current, as the public uses ABN Lookup data to verify business and GST status. If sole traders no longer operate a business, you can update your business structure and cancel your ABN. If you decide to start running your business again, you can reapply.

Source ATO



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