Modernising business registers and the ABN system

Two consultation papers were released by Treasury dealing with the modernisation of business registers maintained by the government and updating the Australian Business Number (ABN) system. 

Currently, businesses are required to interact with numerous registry services (i.e., ASIC, the ABR, and the ATO) and are often providing the same information to each registry. As a result, it can be time consuming and costly for business to understand and meet their initial and ongoing registration obligations across the various registers.

In the 2018-19 Budget, the Government announced that it would modernise the Australian Business Register (ABR) and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) business registers on a platform that will be administered by the ATO. 

The Government has also previously announced that it would introduce a Director Identification Number (DIN) as part of reforms aimed at identifying and penalising illegal phoenix activity. The DIN will be a unique identifier for each person who consents to act as a company director, and will provide traceability of a director’s relationships across companies to enable better tracking of directors of failed companies and prevent the use of fictitious identities and illegal phoenix activity.

The Government is also concerned that participants in the black economy are using the ABN system to facilitate their fraudulent activity. In particular, the Black Economy Taskforce found that the ABN system is being used by participants in the black economy to provide a false sense of legitimacy to their business. The consultation paper on modernising the ABN system seeks views on possible changes to the ABN system including adjusting ABN entitlement rules, imposing conditions on ABN holders, and introducing a renewal process including a renewal fee.


Should you have any inquiries about business register and the ABN system for setting up your new companies, please come and talk to us Tax Ideas Accountants & Advisers (02) 8318 1545

Posted in News & Events, Tax Updates.