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Wednesday, 15 March 2000
Page: 12915

Senator Cook asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice, on 23 September 1999:

Are contractors who operate in an employee-like way and who operate through a company, going to be automatically entitled to register for an Australian Business Number and for goods and services tax purposes?

Senator Kemp (Assistant Treasurer) —The Treasurer has provided the following amended answer to the honourable senator's question:

The Australian Business Number (ABN) has been introduced to assist businesses, non profit organisations and other enterprises by making it easier for them to deal with government agencies. This will be achieved by reducing the need to provide the same information more than once and by making it possible to obtain more comprehensive information from government at fewer locations.

Eligibility for an ABN is not restricted to particular entity types, such as a company or a partnership, and is not restricted to business.

To obtain an ABN an individual, association, company, partnership or trust will need to satisfy the Registrar that it is carrying on an enterprise. However, a company registered under the Australian Corporations Law will be entitled to an ABN irrespective of whether it is carrying on an enterprise.

Enterprise can be any one of a range of activities, including an activity conducted in the form of a business, in the form of an adventure or in the nature of trade, by religious and charitable institutions and by government bodies.

Individuals who are subject to the new PAYG withholding system, such as common law employees and contractors engaged in labour hire arrangements cannot.