Starting in February, the ATO have advised that they will begin cancelling the ABNs of approximately 220,000 trusts, where there is evidence that those trusts are no longer carrying on an enterprise.
How do they determine if a trust is inactive? If, for the last 2 years, the trust has not lodged BAS’s and/or trust income tax returns.
This method will undoubtedly uncover inactive trusts where nobody bothered to cancel to the ABN previously. However, it is also going to cause issues for active trusts where lodgements have fallen behind…. if you are still using your trust but have fallen behind dealing with BAS and tax returns, you may well have your ABN cancelled. It’s time to get onto those outstanding returns!
What then? The ATO will send a letter if an ABN has been cancelled, including the reason for the cancellation, and a phone number to ring if you think the trust should be entitled to ABN. In his case, cancelled ABNs may be reinstated. If the trust no longer requires it’s ABN, there is nothing a trustee needs to do.