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  • #989365
    ITGeek
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    Registering an ABN without a TFN, then adding it later – how can it be done?

    Hello,

    This is my first post ever, but I’ve always come across this forum in my searches for helpful information before.

    I’ve been planning to start my own web and graphics design business for a number of years while studying and now need to put my plans into action.

    After reading many threads, it’s become very clear that I simply require an ABN, or businesses won’t be interested in dealing with me – especially since I won’t be charging rock-bottom prices.

    This leads me to the following question:
    Can I register for an ABN, without having a TFN (I’ve never earned income) and once I’ve managed to find and organize all the paperwork required for a TFN, register for one?
    I’m currently moving and still have a lot of things in boxes. Bottom line – it’ll take me a couple of months before I have everything ready for the TFN application.
    I have lived in Australia most of my life, but being a permanent resident complicates things a little when it comes to paperwork.

    From everything I’ve read, it seems this is possible, but what is the process involved? Surely the ATO will require some form of ID, but how/where do I supply it?
    I live in the northern parts of South Australia, will be operating as a sole trader and working from home. I will however be hiring the services of a subcontractor at times.

    Can I go to an accountant closer to where I live and have him/her register an ABN, without a TFN and show the accountant my 100 points ID (driver’s license/bank account/Medicare)?

    Thank you for reading!

    #1171759
    sam_leader
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    • Total posts: 660
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    Hi ITGeek,

    Firstly I cannot believe that of the thousands of people on this forum no-one has chosen your username, I love it!

    There are lots of accounting people who spend time on the forums and I’m hopeful one of them will pipe up with advice for you.

    All the best,

    Sam

    #1171760
    TehCamel
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    Re: Registering an ABN without a TFN, then adding it later – how can it be done?

    ITGeek, post: 199421 wrote:
    Hello,

    This is my first post ever, but I’ve always come across this forum in my searches for helpful information before.

    I’ve been planning to start my own web and graphics design business for a number of years while studying and now need to put my plans into action.

    After reading many threads, it’s become very clear that I simply require an ABN, or businesses won’t be interested in dealing with me – especially since I won’t be charging rock-bottom prices.

    This leads me to the following question:
    Can I register for an ABN, without having a TFN (I’ve never earned income) and once I’ve managed to find and organize all the paperwork required for a TFN, register for one?
    I’m currently moving and still have a lot of things in boxes. Bottom line – it’ll take me a couple of months before I have everything ready for the TFN application.
    I have lived in Australia most of my life, but being a permanent resident complicates things a little when it comes to paperwork.

    From everything I’ve read, it seems this is possible, but what is the process involved? Surely the ATO will require some form of ID, but how/where do I supply it?
    I live in the northern parts of South Australia, will be operating as a sole trader and working from home. I will however be hiring the services of a subcontractor at times.

    Can I go to an accountant closer to where I live and have him/her register an ABN, without a TFN and show the accountant my 100 points ID (driver’s license/bank account/Medicare)?

    Thank you for reading!
    if you want to register an ABN as a sole trader, then you would definitely need a tax file number.

    apploying for a TFN isn’t too onerous I don’t think – have to attend an Australia Post outlet
    https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Tax-file-number/Applying-for-a-TFN/Individuals-(Australian-residents-for-tax-purposes)/

    #1171761
    ITGeek
    Member
    • Total posts: 8
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    sam_leader, post: 199433 wrote:
    Hi ITGeek,

    Firstly I cannot believe that of the thousands of people on this forum no-one has chosen your username, I love it!

    There are lots of accounting people who spend time on the forums and I’m hopeful one of them will pipe up with advice for you.

    All the best,

    Sam

    Thank you for the friendly welcome, Sam and yes – I was pleasantly surprised myself, to get that username! :)

    #1171762
    ITGeek
    Member
    • Total posts: 8
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    Re: Registering an ABN without a TFN, then adding it later – how can it be done?

    TehCamel, post: 199451 wrote:
    if you want to register an ABN as a sole trader, then you would definitely need a tax file number.

    apploying for a TFN isn’t too onerous I don’t think – have to attend an Australia Post outlet
    https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Tax-file-number/Applying-for-a-TFN/Individuals-(Australian-residents-for-tax-purposes)/

    Thank you, but from what I read on the ATO’s website, I don’t require a TFN just yet to register for an ABN, but maybe I misunderstood.

    Also – I looked through the awfully long list of paperwork (way more than 100 points ID) required to prove my identity for a TFN and I simply don’t have everything available. It will take a while to collect it all and in the meantime, I do need to get on with things.

    #1171763
    TehCamel
    Member
    • Total posts: 873
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    Re: Registering an ABN without a TFN, then adding it later – how can it be done?

    ITGeek, post: 199455 wrote:
    Thank you, but from what I read on the ATO’s website, I don’t require a TFN just yet to register for an ABN, but maybe I misunderstood.

    Also – I looked through the awfully long list of paperwork (way more than 100 points ID) required to prove my identity for a TFN and I simply don’t have everything available. It will take a while to collect it all and in the meantime, I do need to get on with things.

    you don’t have:
    Original of _either_ birth certificate or passport or citizenship extract
    AND two of the following:
    medicare card ; bank account statement ; drivers licence or learners license ;

    that’s not more than 100 points really.

    #1171764
    ITGeek
    Member
    • Total posts: 8
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    Re: Registering an ABN without a TFN, then adding it later – how can it be done?

    Hi Andy,

    I’ve already answered that question twice now, in fact.
    According to the ATO, It’s unnecessary to have a TFN to register an ABN so right now, that’s just fine for me. Things are complicated enough as they are already.



    Back on topic: It would be very helpful to get clarification on the process from people (BusinessGeeks) who know more about it, since this whole subject may as well be “Greek” to me.

    Depending on how long the process takes, I may end up having to come to an agreement with any business using my services, for them to withold the maximum tax amount, but how would I handle paying someone who may or may not have an ABN themselves?

    There are some smaller tasks that I’d like to pay someone else to do, so I suppose that I would have to withold the maximum tax amount myself if they don’t have an ABN… but if I don’t have an ABN in the meantime, how does that change things? I’d still be paying a “subcontractor” for business purposes, even if they’re students.

    However, what if the subcontractors have an ABN and I don’t?

    What is the proper way to handle these situations?

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