I recently reactivated my ABN as my Australian Business Number was deactivated a year or two ago because I wasn’t making any money as an artist. I reinstated it because I may be part of a festival and I might do some odd painting jobs for homes. I agonised over it a bit because I didn’t really know how to use my ABN. I think going forward I will just have to see an accountant. As an artist I am supposed to be proactive and productive but honestly I was depressed. I didn’t think I had to do anything because I was under the tax threshold but it seems the ATO will call you up to see what you are up to if you don’t at least put in some paperwork. I never returned their call so they cancelled my business number. I was a bit naive really. I didn’t think very little money was worth reporting. Also I normally run at a loss. I spend more on art than I make back. We aren’t talking a lot of money.
So I agonised and thought what is the point? Yet if you don’t have an ABN you can’t get insurance for a festival or what not. So I will go through an accountant at tax time. I will keep receipts and invoices and just go through the motions. I should if I pick up small house painting jobs be able to make a little bit of money. I am still not convinced pushing artwork is a very good idea. If I make a sale though it will be a bonus. I better get back to trying to sell some art.