Are you still using your ABN?

If your business has been sold, has ceased operating or you have changed your business structure, you must cancel your Australian business number (ABN). If you have any outstanding lodgments or payments, make sure you bring them up to date to avoid being charged penalties and interest. 

We know that not everyone is cancelling their ABN when they should. We regularly review ABNs and identified over 900,000 in the last year that are potentially inactive. 

If we identify your ABN as inactive, we’ll send you an email, letter or SMS. If you’re:

  • operating a business – follow the instructions in our communication to you. Confirm your ABN is still required by using our secure voice response system
  • no longer in business – no further action is required. Your ABN will be cancelled.

Check our current communication to ABN holders for information on how to confirm the email, letter or SMS is legitimate. 

If we cancel your ABN and you start operating again, you will need to re-apply for an ABN

To prevent your ABN being identified as inactive, report any income or loss earned under your ABN in the business section of your tax return, regardless of the amount. This shows us you’re still in business.

It’s important to the integrity of the Australian Business Register that ABN details are current. Emergency services and government agencies use this information during natural disasters to identify where support for businesses is needed.

Last modified
24 May 2022