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20 Apr 1212 On reactivating an ABN

MEMBER 95 writes:

“It has taken the ATO 3 months to reactivate an ABN for a client. The reactivation was lodged over the ABN website. The person at the ATO who received the application can only base their assessment on what is in the ATO computer and on what information they have requested and is provided by the taxpayer via ourselves, the tax agent. We are in the electronic world now and the ATO needs to ensure that the application process automatically reviews the information on the portal and if extra information is required then this should be part of the application process and the applicant should be asked for this information automatically. In the past ABN applications were processed instantaneously.

The ATO may not care that this 3 month delay has financially disadvantaged the taxpayer and that it has cost the taxpayer 4 hours of our time following this up. However, it has also cost the ATO the wages of its staff members and their supervisors including the ATO staff in the escalation section. This ATO staff time could have been better spent chasing some real tax cheats.”


MEMBER 96 writes:

“On February 27 an application was lodged for the reissue of a cancelled ABN for a consultant (not a contractor or subcontractor). ABN required for inclusion on a contract – no ABN, no contract. March 16 phoned, officer could not throw ANY light on stalled action. Escalated and ‘we (ATO) have (another) 28 days to respond’. April 16 phoned, still no reason given for ATO lethargy and inaction. Told ‘try again in 2 weeks’. Client P****d off well & truly. Why? No contract signed, no cash received, does not want 46.5% tax withheld and NO written or phone request for additional information.

We do a daily online lookup of the ABR, in case the ABN has been reinstated and we/the client have not been told.

Come on ATO, you are dealing with A PERSON not an ABN. Surely by not issuing an ABN you are encouraging the cash economy.”


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