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MEMBER 127 writes:

"I am just wondering if any other members are experiencing problems with the issue of ABNs?

Two clients, both of whom previously held ABNs but did not use them for various reasons, and the ABNs were cancelled by the tax office. Both clients are now establishing different businesses, and need their ABN to do so. Both clients have outlaid money in establishing their new business ventures. Both have requested either that the old ABN be re-activated, or a new ABN issued.

One client has now been waiting since 16 March for his ABN; each telephone enquiry appears to put another 28 days extension onto the potential issue date; and this then apparently "satisfies the ATO performance guidelines".

The ATO suggests that the client use "Statement by Supplier", but there is no box on that form to state that ABN has been applied for, and that ATO is late in issuing the same.

How difficult can it be to issue an ABN? Why is it taking so long to do so? These are clients that are obviously trying to do the right thing, they are not operating in the cash economy; why are they being targeted and victimised in a way that is detrimental to their livelihood? Is it just a power play by the ATO? Really, what is the benefit to the ATO NOT to issue an ABN?"

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