When we set up a new SMSF, we apply for an ABN and a TFN for the new Fund through the Australian Business Register. In most cases the Tax Office issues the ABN and TFN immediately. However, if the Trustees of the SMSF have outstanding tax obligations, the ATO may delay the ABN application. The ABN delay can take up to 56 business days to reconcile.
The ATO does a data match from the data we provide in the application to verify against the ATO database. If it is a complete match, the ABN and TFN are issued. If there’s a data discrepancy, there will be a delay in issuing the ABN and TFN. The ATO’s service standard to resolve these mismatches is 56 business days.
For around half the SMSFs we set up, the ABN is issued immediately. So, if your SMSF’s ABN isn’t issued immediately, don’t despair – it is quite normal.
Once the ABN and TFN have been issued for the SMSF, the Tax Office will conduct an ABN review/establishment review on the SMSF application. This process can take anywhere between 2 to 56 business days. Further guidance on this process and what the ATO do during this process can be found here.
Reasons for data mismatches can be that the ATO has a Trustee’s maiden name instead of married name, other names spelt differently or changes of address that haven’t been updated. It is your responsibility to contact the ATO if you have changed your name or your address to ensure there is no ABN delay during the SMSF application process. If there are any delays, we’ll keep you posted so you know how long it will take and when your SMSF will be listed as ‘Registered’ or ‘Complying’ on Super Fund Lookup.