Unfortunately ABN's are commonly misunderstood. It is important to note that (with the exception of companies that are automatically entitled to an ABN), you/your entity is only entitled to an ABN where you are carrying on an enterprise/business. Thereby, just setting up a trust does not entitle you to an ABN, nor does holding passive investment. It is also important that you cancel your ABN when you cease operating a business.
The Registrar of the Australian Business Register (ABR) will begin cancelling the ABNs of approximately 220,000 trusts, where there is evidence they are no longer carrying on an enterprise.
Trust ABNs will be cancelled in February, where information available indicates that for the last two years the trust has not lodged business activity statements and/or trust income tax returns.
You may receive a letter that your ABN has been cancelled. The letter will include the reason for the cancellation, and a phone number to ring to get the ABN reinstated immediately if you don't agree with the decision.