how to cancel abn

Wondering how to cancel ABN Number? ABN is an 11-digit identifier issued by the Australia Business Registry. Having an ABN requires an operating business in Australia, and like all businesses, there are always problems that don’t come with easy answers.

In this guide, we will give you those answers, step by step, we explain what is an ABN, what an Australian Business Number entails in responsibility, and how to cancel ABN without facing too many issues. 

If you have an ABN you’re probably, an individual, an entity, a corporation, or body that wanted to register formally as an enterprise with the Australian government. 

And if want to know how to cancel your ABN for whatever reason, you will get your answer here in a few simple steps.

Reasons for Cancelling ABN

First, you have to cancel your ABN if your business has been closed/closing, sold, changed structure, or moved operations abroad with no connections to Australia. 

You can always reactivate your ABN registration as long as there are no restrictions placed on your number. It’s always good to clear your balance with the ATO for anything ABN related.

How To Cancel My ABN

There are two ways you can cancel your ABN. Both are through the Australian Business Register

  • Online
  • Phone Call

We will go through the exact steps that you need to take for cancellation of the service.  Before that let us learn a few important facts.

ABN Cancelation

If you have no outstanding payments, the ABN cancellation will be effective immediately. If you do, The ATO will cancel your ABN registration automatically.  

If you are trying to cancel your ABN registration and don’t have the money for the outstanding debt, you should still submit all activity statements and tax returns, if you do, you will still be able to cancel your ABN registration, and only have to deal with the ATO to finalize your debt. 

How to Cancel ABN Number in Easy Steps 

how to cancel abn number

If you want to cancel your ABN, it’s not a hard process. Let us learn the steps.


You can log online and cancel it, and the fastest way is by using MyGovID.

1. Create a MyGovID account

Create a MyGovID account, after you log online through the MyGovID app that lets you prove identity (Different than a MyGov account). OR Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) that allows one to act on behalf of a business or an entity. 

2. Set up a MyGovID account

You have to set up a MyGovID account, whether as the primary person or authorised representative. 

3. Cancel

You can make changes to your ABN, view details, and even cancel your ABN. It’s the fastest way, and requires no human interaction after you’re done: Your ABN will be cancelled immediately. 

Phone Call

You can call their offices on 139226 between 8 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday.

If for some reason the website is under maintenance, and you can’t log online; facing a problem with getting access, questions you can’t find the answers to, or debt payments you need to inquire about…all those issues could be solved with a phone call. 

A phone call has the human factor on the other side, which could perhaps give you faster answers and help you can’t find elsewhere. 

You must be authorized to update the ABN details for a business. You’ll have to have proof of identity, and the tax file number (TFN) to be able to initiate the cancellation.

  • Prepare your verified information 
  • Make sure you’re authorized to cancel the ABN 
  • Submit all your activity statements 
  • Pay any outstanding debts 

But if you do have a problem with your information, or financial capabilities, it is best to tackle it head-on with the proper offices and channels with good faith; they will be the only people with the power to reduce that burden for you. 

Other Ways to Cancel Your ABN

There are other ways to cancel your ABN if logging online, or a phone call didn’t work, or if you simply wanted a more convenient alternative. 

You can ask your registered tax agent, or BAS agent to help with the process of cancelling your ABN and finalize all outstanding payments and reports. Make sure you also have all your verified information on hand, and you are the person authorized to make the cancellation. 

I Can’t Cancel My ABN Because of Debt

Sometimes the cancellation process gets hindered and businesses can’t pay for the pending costs and debts. 

The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) Planned ahead for situations like these, and so you would have to get in touch with them and get manage the situation early. 

Delayed ABN Tax and Debt Payments

As a general rule of thumb, you should lodge all your tax returns, activity statements, even if you can’t pay on time. Cooperation will make them understand the situation you are going through and showing good faith may land you in an easier situation than thought previously. 

But that doesn’t mean that the ATO will constantly remind you to pay through different means:

1. Contact: The Taxation Office will call, text, and send letters to stay updated on your ability to pay your debts. 

2. There will be an Interest charged on unpaid amounts.

3. External Collection Agencies might contact you to collect late payments on behalf of the Taxation Office. 

4. Credit refunds will be used to pay your debt automatically. 

5. Stronger actions might be taken if you refuse to address your debt issue or continue to default on payment plans. 

But what if you have Financial hardship?

If you happen to be going through hardships and genuinely can’t pay, the Taxation Office can reduce the interest, or even cancel it all. You can appeal to them by providing them with proper reasons and contacting them through the proper channels, online, or by phone.

The ATO will guide you on how to manage your situation, and help you understand and manage your debt situation until you can pay back what you owe without struggling through it or going to court for settlements.

ABN Cancellation Facts

Do I need to Cancel my ABN?

If your business has changed structure, or moved abroad, and has no connection to Australia, then you will have to cancel your ABN. Incorrect, false, or misleading information affiliated with your ABN can get you fined.

Are There Requirements to Cancel an ABN?

Yes, there a few important requirements to be able to cancel your ABN. After you get all the verified information for the cancellation purposes, you have to make sure all your activities, payments, reports are lodged, repay your GST Taxes (Goods and Services Tax), credit refunds, and outstanding tax debts.

How Long Will it Take To Cancel My ABN?

So, once you start the process and given that you have lodged all your reports and paid all your credit, debts, and taxes, then the ABN will be cancelled effective immediately. It will take the same day to have this situation concluded with no issues.

To Wrap Up

If you’re going to register as an enterprise, you have to operate like one, and if you do, cancelling your ABN will have to have good reasons, it will have to be done efficiently, with transparency, and you can have it done the same day. 

Read Next: Learn if you need a phone line for a NBN connection.

Nicole B