What’s So Important About an ABN?

The law states that every business making a payment must check the validity of their suppliers.  We share the ONLY tool you should rely on to find this information – its easy and the only way you can properly confirm and avoid penalties!


As a business, you must check that:

  1. Suppliers have provided an ABN and that it is a valid ABN and it belongs to them.
  2. Check that the supplier is allowed to charge GST.
  3. You must obtain a valid tax invoice from suppliers.

If your supplier used an invalid ABN or is not registered for GST but they have charged it, and you pay it to that supplier then the ATO position, based on the law, is that you are not allowed to claim back that GST from the ATO.

There are increasing reports of the ATO conducting reviews of businesses in the areas of supplier registration and validity of GST claims. Therefore, the business owner needs to understand that these are matters that should not be ignored and will be reviewed in an audit, with potential penalties applied by the ATO if GST is incorrectly claimed when the business owner knew it shouldn’t have been claimed.

ABN Lookup

As of February 2015, the Government have declared that the ABN Lookup Tool can now be relied upon.

The Commissioner of Taxation has advised that:
If you primarily rely on information about another entity in ABN lookup to self-assess your taxation liabilities or entitlements, and that information turns out to be incorrect:

  • The Commissioner will not take compliance action to recover any tax shortfall
  • You will also be protected against any false or misleading statement penalty and any interest charges.

At OzAccounts we do more than prepare your BAS statements. With over 30 years experience and certified accountants on our team, we help you with all financial aspects of your small businesses. We can give you the right advice and information so you can make healthy decisions for your business.

About the Author Josephine

Jo Roberts in a cloud integration magician. With over 20 years experience in business, Jo is passionate about ensuring business owners know exactly how they are tracking with their money. Jo also holds partnerships with the major leading software systems: Xero Silver Advisor, MYOB Certified Consultant, Intuit QBO Pro Advisor, Reckon Accredited Consultant... and many more!

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