(23.10.2015) Days Numbered for ACNs & TFNs?

The Department of the Treasury has released a draft bill which proposes reducing the number of “business identifiers” utilised at the Commonwealth level.

Australian_TreasuryThe Treasury Legislation Amendment (Spring Repeal Day) Bill 2015 (Cth) proposes amendments to the Corporations Act and taxation laws, so that the Australian Business Number (ABN) will be the single identifier for Corporations registered after 1 July 2016.

An explanatory memorandum released with the draft Bill explains the changes are proposed to make it easier to register a new business (as part of the Government’s “Growing Jobs and Small Business” package), and because a single identifier would make business administration easier and less confusing.

The change from ACNs to ABNs is probably more a matter of “housekeeping” than anything else. Our experience is that ACNs are presently redundant.

In particular, we note that the use of ACNs in some situations has long been unnecessary and inappropriate, and on occasion has attracted the attention of the Courts of Queensland. In one instance, His Honour Judge McGill of the District Court of Queensland, in a paper presented to members of the Queensland Law Society, stated:

“I am of the view that including ACNs after the name of a company in the title to a proceeding is unnecessary and inappropriate, unless it is one of the very rare companies where the name is actually the ACN followed by ‘Pty Ltd’”.

On the other hand, the change from TFNs to ABNs seems logical and is welcomed. It is our experience, as registered tax agents, that TFNs add an unnecessary layer of complexity to business administration.

Do you need legal or tax agency advice? Contact Groom & Lavers for an appointment today on (07) 4616 9600, or via our contact page.