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  • Selling or closing down a business

    It's important that all your clients' tax issues are finalised before they cancel their Australian business number (ABN), which ceases that business. This allows us to finalise their account and issue any refunds owing to them.

    Step 1: Lodgment and payment

    Make sure all lodgment and payment obligations are met, including:    

    • outstanding activity statements
    • outstanding instalment notices
    • final fringe benefits tax (FBT) returns
    • final income tax returns.

    Step 2: Refunds

    Request any refunds for accounts with a final tax position in credit.

    Step 3: Cancel pay as you go (PAYG) withholding registrations

    You can do this via the portals, refer to:    

    Step 4: Cancel the ABN

    This step must be completed after the first three steps – this will stop any problems with refunds being delayed and the need for us to contact you.

    You need to cancel the ABN within 28 days of ceasing business. The fastest way to cancel an ABN is through the Australian Business RegisterExternal Link (ABR).

    Cancelling the ABN will cancel:

    • registrations for GST, luxury car tax (LCT), wine equalisation tax (WET), fuel tax credits (FTC)
    • AUSkeys linked to the ABN.

    Step 5: PAYG instalments

    After cancelling your ABN you may still continue to receive PAYG instalment activity statements. To stop this, you can either lodge your tax return or contact us to exit PAYG instalments.

    In the meantime, you can choose to vary the PAYG instalment rate or amount on your activity statement if it doesn’t correctly reflect your circumstances due to you ceasing business.

    Step 6: Record keeping

    Your clients need to keep business records for at least five years after the end of the financial year they sell or close down their business.

    See also:

      Last modified: 01 Aug 2018QC 43238