Applying for an ABN

Do I need an ABN? Not everyone is entitled to an ABN.
Companies registered under the Corporations Law and business entities carrying on an enterprise in Australia are entitled to an ABN. Employees and hobbyists are not entitled to an ABN as they are not carrying on an enterprise. Self-funded retirees do not need an ABN. They continue to use their tax file number when reporting their annual income to the ATO.

Is the ABN compulsory? Applying for an ABN is not compulsory. However, if you are required to register for GST, you will need to apply for an ABN as well. All businesses with an GST turnover of $75, 000 or more must register for GST and will need an ABN to do this. This can be done on the same form. Organisations with a lower annual turnover may choose to register. If you are not required to register for GST, you can still apply for an ABN.
All non-profit organisations with an GST turnover of $150, 000 or more must register for GST and therefore need an ABN. Also, businesses that need to be endorsed as a gift deductible recipient or an income tax exempt charity or both, require an ABN.

Why might my business need an ABN? You need an ABN and GST registration in order to claim GST credits for any GST you have paid for goods and/or services you have used in your business. If you are supplying goods or services, you will need to be able to quote an ABN so that others businesses do not withhold tax at the top marginal rate when they pay you.

How does the ABN affect relations between businesses? Businesses registered for GST are required to issue tax invoices that quote their ABN. Under pay as you go taxation, businesses receiving an invoice are required to withhold tax from their payments for goods and services if an ABN is not quoted.

FREE fact sheet on applying for an ABN ==> ABN Applications

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