• Privacy statement ABR - transaction site

    This privacy statement sets out how we comply with our obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act). We are bound by the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) in the Privacy Act which regulate how we collect, use, disclose and store your personal information, and how individuals may access and correct personal information we hold about them. Our staff and contractors cannot disclose your personal information unless permitted under a law or in the course of employment. Other disclosures attract severe penalties.

    As this site is managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the ABR Privacy Statement also conforms to the requirements of the ATO Privacy Policy. For more information about the ATO and privacy, visit ATO Privacy Website.

    The ATO’s full privacy policy can be found at ATO Privacy Policy. An abridged version is located at ATO Privacy – short form

    Further information

    The Privacy Act is administered by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. For more information about the Privacy Act, visit OAICExternal Link.

    End of further information

    What is personal information?

    Section 6(1) of the Privacy Act states that personal information means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable:

    1. whether the information or opinion is true or not, and
    2. whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.

    Who we are

    The Commissioner of Taxation is the Registrar of the Australian Business Register (ABR). The Registrar is responsible for administering the ABR.

    This Privacy Statement applies to the personal information collected by the Registrar in administering the ABR.

    Our authority

    We may collect personal information directly from you or from a third party if:

    • you have consented
    • we are authorised to do so under an Australian law or
    • you would reasonably expect us to collect the information in that way, for example from an organisation of which you are a director or office bearer, or from publicly available sources.   

    We are authorised to collect personal information to help administer the following Acts:

    • A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999
    • Income Tax Assessment Act 1936
    • Income Tax Assessment Act 1997
    • A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999
    • A New Tax System (Wine Equalisation Tax) Act 1999
    • A New Tax System (Luxury Car Tax) Act 1999
    • Fuel Tax Act 2006
    • Energy Grants Credits Scheme Act 2003
    • Product Grants and Benefits Administration Act 2000
    • Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986
    • Taxation Administration Act 1953
    • Superannuation Industry (Superannuation) Act 1993.
    • Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012
    • Business Names Registration Act 2011    

    We are also authorised by the Taxation Administration Act 1953 and by the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999 (ABN Act) to ask for a tax file number (TFN) for identification purposes. You do not have to provide your TFN but it will help us confirm your identity and complete your transactions with us faster.

    Why we collect your personal information

    We collect your personal information to administer the ABR. We administer the ABR by:

    • assessing entitlement to an Australian business number (ABN) and other taxation registrations
    • verifying the identity of key individuals associated with the entity
    • maintaining the integrity of the ABR to ensure records are current and accurate
    • assessing applications for an AUSkey registration for representatives of entities that are registered under the ABN Act for the purpose of facilitating electronic dealings by those entities with government entities (where these representatives are individuals)
    • maintaining the personal information of AUSkey holders on the ABR to ensure records are current and accurate
    • providing access to public data to verify core business identity and tax registration information, for example, whether an entity is registered for goods and services tax (GST), and
    • providing eligible government agencies with access to both public and non-public details held in the ABR.

    What happens if you do not provide your personal information? 

    If we are unable to collect the personal information required, the Registrar may not be able to determine your entitlement to an ABN.

    Not having an ABN may affect your ability to:

    • conduct your dealings with the Australian Government
    • identify yourself reliably for tax laws
    • reduce your government registration and reporting requirements
    • deal electronically with government entities.

    What personal information is publicly available and who can see it

    Some personal information in the ABR may be accessed by any member of the public, including persons and organisations located in and outside Australia. The publicly available information that can be accessed at ABN LookupExternal Link is:

    • your ABN (and whether it is active or cancelled)
    • your name and entity type (such as company, sole trader, trust or superannuation fund)
    • your registered business name, and
    • the state and postcode of your main business address.
    • If applicable to you, other publicly available information includes:
    • if we have changed your ABN - the date the change took effect
    • if your ABN registration is cancelled - the date the cancellation took effect
    • your GST registration status and the date of effect of GST registration and cancellation
    • your deductible gift recipient status and the dates endorsement took effect and ended
    • your tax concession charity status and the dates endorsement took effect and ended
    • your income tax exempt status and the dates endorsement took effect and ended, and
    • your Australian Company Number (ACN) or Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN).

    The publicly available information may also include historical details for the above data fields.

    Providing this information publicly allows users to verify your core business identity for taxation and all other Commonwealth purposes.

    What else happens to your publicly available personal information?

    ABN Lookup web services allows any third party to integrate your publicly available ABR information into their own systems. This allows the user to undertake tasks such as validate your ABN, pre-fill their own forms, or keep your ABR details stored in their systems current.

    The ABR provides your publicly available information to data.gov.au. Third parties accessing this service may utilise the data for any purpose including commercial use.

    What personal information is available to government agencies?

    In addition to the publicly available information, we provide other personal information from the ABR to Australian Commonwealth, state, territory and local government agencies for the purposes authorised by their legislation and for carrying out other functions of their agency. Examples of possible uses include registration, reporting, compliance, and validation and updating of databases.

    A full list of the ABR information which is available to government agencies can be accessed at Your business information in the ABR.External Link

    Accessing and changing your personal information

    You may access, and seek correction to, the personal information we hold about you unless we consider that there is a sound reason under the Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) or other relevant law to withhold the information or not make the changes.

    The fastest way to make changes to your ABN details is onlineExternal Link using an AUSkey.External Link All changes made to your ABN online will take effect immediately.

    Alternatively you can contact usExternal Link, lodge a formExternal Link by mail, or update your details through your registered tax agent or BAS agent.

    If we do not agree to provide access to personal information or to amend the information we hold about you, you may seek a review of our decision in writing. If we have informed you that we are relying on the provisions of the FOI Act for not providing you access to your personal information, you may appeal our decision under that Act.

    What to do if you think we have breached your privacy

    If you are not satisfied with our decisions, services or actions regarding the privacy of your personal information or access to it, you have the right to make a complaint. A complaint enables you to express dissatisfaction and seek a remedy to your situation.

    We aim to acknowledge all complaints within three working days of receiving them. We will also work with you to resolve your complaint and will keep you informed about its progress.

    If you are unable to resolve the issue with us, or if you are not satisfied with the way we have handled your complaint, the Australian Information Commissioner may be able to help you. You can contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner by visiting their website at OAICExternal Link.

    Privacy concerns

    Further information

    Contact usExternal Link if you have concerns about privacy. Alternatively, you can obtain further information from the Privacy Commissioner’s website.External Link

    End of further information
    • Last modified: 27 Jun 2016QC 200