Pay InvoiceTax Planning Sessions

The ATO may cancel your ABN….

Do you still require your ABN (Australian Business Number)?

On 11 June 2024, the ATO stated on their official website that they may cancel your ABN if it is no longer being used.

Since running a business comes with a lot of responsibilities, it is very common for a lot of people to forget to cancel their ABN. The Australian Taxation Office understands this and, for the same reason, actively reviews the inactive ABNs. Sometimes, they also cancel the ABNs that are inactive.

Your ABN may be reviewed if you have not reported any business activity in your tax return or if there’s no evidence of business activity from other filings or third-party information.

If it appears that your ABN is no longer in use, the ATO will reach out to you via email, letter, or SMS. If you are:

  • still operating a business, they will provide instructions on how to retain your ABN
  • no longer in business, there’s nothing further required from you – the ATO will cancel your ABN.

Should your ABN be cancelled and you believe you still qualify for it, you will need to reapply.

The ATO may cancel your ABN

If you resume your business activities, you might be able to reapply for the same ABN, depending on any changes to your business structure. For instance:

  • If you were a sole trader and plan to resume your business as a sole trader, you can reapply for the same ABN.
  • If you were a sole trader but want to restart your business as a company, you will need to obtain a new ABN.

Keep your ABN details up-to-date

You must inform the ATO about any changes to your business details if you have an ABN. It should be done within 28 days. For instance, if your business is no longer operating, it is your duty to inform the ATO about it and cancel your Australian Business Number. 

ABN details (Australian Business Number)

Emergency services government agencies use the information provided on an ABN to provide the said business support or financial help (like government grants). This is the reason why you must keep your ABN details up-to-date. 


Note: Your ABR (Australian Business Register) must contain the physical street address of your business under the main business address section. A lot of businesses make the mistake of using their post office box address or sometimes even putting their tax agent address here. 

The main business address must be the physical street address so that the emergency services can reach you in times of disaster. 


Disclaimer: This website is designed for informational and educational purposes. Although we exert diligent efforts to maintain the accuracy and reliability of the content, we must disclaim liability for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies. The content provided is “as is” and is not accompanied by warranties, whether expressed or implied. It should not serve as the sole basis for financial or legal decisions.

Given the evolving nature of financial regulations and conditions, the accuracy and reliability of information may change over time. Users are urged to exercise due diligence and consult with a qualified financial professional for personalized advice. ‘Clear Tax Accountants’ bears no responsibility for direct or indirect consequences, encompassing financial loss or legal matters stemming from the use or misuse of the information on this website.

Please be aware that the information, by no means, is a substitute for financial advice.