Survey results indicate there is a need to better-educate people about their obligations to update details on the Register and to simplify the process of updating details electronically. The law requires that the Registrar be notified of any changes to the information on the Register within 28 days of the ABN holder becoming aware of the change.
The level of awareness of the need to update details has remained relatively static, with 61% responding they were aware (29% had updated their details at least once).
Our communication strategies need to address the two most common reported attitudes that people ‘didn’t think about it’ (19%) or ‘didn’t know they had to’ (18%). The level of awareness was significantly higher among companies (65%), trusts (74%) and superannuation funds (81%) than among government entities (40%), individuals (50%) and partnerships (55%).
Of the respondents who had updated ABN details on the ABR, the main method for updating details was the website (63%) followed by ‘tax/BAS agent does it’ (17%) and by phone (5%).
Figure 4 Awareness of obligation to update ABN by entity type – Survey 19
Overall, 51% of respondents who had previously updated an entity’s ABN details on the Register found the process to be easy. The top two responses in this category were ‘the website was clear and easy to use; and that ‘it was easy and straight forward’. 63% of respondents also reported using the website to update their details.
It is not clear from the responses to these questions whether respondents understood that updating through the website required an AUSkey, particularly as only 40% reported using an AUSkey and only 48% agreed with the statement ‘I am aware of how to update my details if they change in the future.’