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Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

Old May 24th 2013, 11:49 am
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Default Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

Hello folks, I'm in the process of planning my move to Australia and am looking into a few administrative issues that I'll need to deal with.

My plan is to start contracting when I arrive (this is very common in my industry and i should be able to get a job quickly) however i understand that I'll require a Australian Business Number & Tax File Number before I can start working, or at least before I can start invoicing companies.

From looking at the online forms I can tell that you need an address in OZ in order to apply which technically speaking means I'd have to wait until i arrive...however friends of mine already in OZ tell me that I should expect the process of getting an ABN and TFN to take up to a month which isn't ideal for me as I'd ideally like to be in a position to work/invoice from day one.

So my question is if anyone know of anyway that I could work around that hurdle, perhaps there are umbrella companies that could do the invoicing for me, or if there's companies that help you setup the ABN number or perhaps I even could get away with using my friends address on the application..

Any experience/feedback/advice would be much appreciated!

Many thanks,
Martin
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Old May 24th 2013, 12:22 pm
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Default Re: Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

You could use your friend's address (if they are happy with that) and just change the address to your own when you have one here. However, in theory you will be breaking the law by doing this. TFNs and ABNs IME are provided within a matter of days if all your docs are provided correctly... I have applied for hundreds of TFNs & ABNs in my previous accounting life, as I said, it is rare for them these days to take longer than 2-3 days...

If it was me, I'd be doing things by the book and wait until you get here. You can still invoice for your work without a TFN/ABN, you just pay a higher rate of tax, & have GST implications, which will all come out in the wash/be taken in to account when you do your annual tax return & quarterly BAS.
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Old May 24th 2013, 12:33 pm
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Default Re: Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

Originally Posted by jackieh23 View Post
You could use your friend's address (if they are happy with that) and just change the address to your own when you have one here. However, in theory you will be breaking the law by doing this. TFNs and ABNs IME are provided within a matter of days if all your docs are provided correctly... I have applied for hundreds of TFNs & ABNs in my previous accounting life, as I said, it is rare for them these days to take longer than 2-3 days...

If it was me, I'd be doing things by the book and wait until you get here. You can still invoice for your work without a TFN/ABN, you just pay a higher rate of tax, & have GST implications, which will all come out in the wash/be taken in to account when you do your annual tax return & quarterly BAS.
Really, 1-2 days...my friend who also came over from the UK said the whole process took him about 4 weeks.
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Old May 24th 2013, 12:44 pm
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Default Re: Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

For our tax file number to arrive it took less than 2weeks after arriving/appling. Very important in our case as we arrived on thursday night and husband started work on the monday.
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Old May 24th 2013, 12:54 pm
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Default Re: Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

Originally Posted by gotlisch View Post
Really, 1-2 days...my friend who also came over from the UK said the whole process took him about 4 weeks.
Did he do it himself or use an Accountant?
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Old May 24th 2013, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

Don't know about an ABN but we applied for our TFNs online when we arrived here and it took about a week x
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Old May 24th 2013, 9:35 pm
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Default Re: Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

Ok, well I believe it was the ABN that took a bit longer not the TFN. My friend applied directly he didn't use an accountant.

Martin
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Old May 24th 2013, 9:59 pm
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Default Re: Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

If you use an Accountant with a good reputation with the ATO, you can find things happen (much) quicker. The reverse also applies.
To obtain an ABN, you must have a TFN, hence the time difference.
It is also not uncommon for a Practice to obtain TFNs & ABNs and not advise their clients for some time, just because they are so busy...
I would google Accountants in the state you wish to live, email and ask them their fees and turn around times. They vary greatly from one practice to another.

FWIW, I reiterate, you can still invoice for your work without a TFN/ABN, you just pay a higher rate of tax, & have GST implications, which will all come out in the wash/be taken in to account when you do your annual tax return & quarterly BAS.
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Old May 25th 2013, 4:44 am
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Default Re: Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

You need to be in the country to apply for a TFN, you can't provide a friend's address as they still know you are not here - we tried to apply for my daughter's before she arrived and it was declined saying that she was not in the country, we went online as soon as we got home from the airport and it let her apply straight away.
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Old May 25th 2013, 5:44 am
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Default Re: Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

Originally Posted by mand8002 View Post
You need to be in the country to apply for a TFN, you can't provide a friend's address as they still know you are not here - we tried to apply for my daughter's before she arrived and it was declined saying that she was not in the country, we went online as soon as we got home from the airport and it let her apply straight away.
Good to know Immigration and the ATO finally synced their systems....
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Old May 25th 2013, 9:01 am
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Default Re: Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

Originally Posted by jackieh23 View Post
Good to know Immigration and the ATO finally synced their systems....
They've been "synced" as far as getting a TFN is concerned for at least as long as I've been on the forum I remember being told that over 10 years ago!
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Old May 25th 2013, 10:12 am
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Default Re: Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

Originally Posted by Pollyana View Post
They've been "synced" as far as getting a TFN is concerned for at least as long as I've been on the forum I remember being told that over 10 years ago!
I've forgotten more in the past 10 years than I care to remember LOL
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Old May 26th 2013, 9:44 pm
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Default Re: Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

Depending on what sort of contracting you do, you may find that employers will conly contract to companies which have an ACN and won't directly contract with someone who only has an ABN. This happened to me once (with a company that had specifically asked me to work for them!): I got round it by having a friend of mine with his own company issue the invoices and collect the money - he added 10% handling fee to my rate when issuing the invoices so he was very happy with the deal!
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Old May 27th 2013, 6:40 am
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Default Re: Australian Business Number & Tax File Number

I find that ABNs are issued quickly - sometimes straightaway - where a taxpayer applying for an ABN already has a TFN.

Allow 2 to 4 weeks though, erring on the side of caution.

Don't overlook the personal services income and personal services business issues - have a look at www.ato.gov.au to get a flavour of what this is about. And send me a PM with your name and contact details if you'd like my business partner Chrissy Redwood to have a freebie initial chat with you - she's across the subject of PSI.

Best regards.
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