On 22 January 2016, the Commissioner of Taxation (as the Registrar of the Australian Business Register or ABR) announced he will begin cancelling the ABNs of approximately 220,000 trusts, where there is evidence they are no longer carrying on an enterprise.

Trust ABNs will be cancelled in February, where information available indicates that for the last two years the trust has not lodged business activity statements and/or trust income tax returns. Exclusions to these ABN cancellations apply to trusts that are registered with ‘Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commissionor are a non-reporting member of a GST or income tax group.

Tax agents or their clients will receive a letter if that Trust’s ABN has been cancelled. The letter will include the reason for the cancellation, and a phone number to ring to get the ABN reinstated immediately if you don’t agree with the decision.

If your client’s ABN is cancelled and neither you nor your client receives a letter, it could mean your client’s contact details are not up to date on their ABN record.

[ATO website] [LTN 15, 25/1/16]