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  • Statement of tax record

    Tenders subject to Commonwealth Procurement Rules valued over $4 million require a satisfactory statement of tax record.

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    Commonwealth Government procurement

    Businesses tendering for Commonwealth Government procurementsExternal Link that are undertaken through open tenders, are subject to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and have an estimated total value of over $4 million (including GST) must obtain a statement of tax record (STR) showing satisfactory engagement with the tax system.

    The satisfactory STR needs to be valid at the time of tender closing.

    We recommend that entities requiring an STR:

    • refer to the tender request documentation to clarify the requirements
    • refer to the Black Economy Procurement Connected Policy (PCP)External Link to understand how the rules affect them. The Black Economy Procurement Connected Policy (PCP) commenced on 1 July 2019 and applies to new approaches to market on or after 1 July 2019.
    • apply for an STR early to allow time for processing before the tender closing date
    • keep their tax obligations (registration, lodgment, payment) up to date, to ensure they receive a satisfactory STR.

    Note: The term ‘black economy’ has now changed to Shadow economy. This change reflects the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) definition of unreported or dishonest economic activity. References to the Black Economy Standing Taskforce (BEST) will remain and the taskforce will continue to focus on activities identified under the OECD definition of ‘shadow economy’.

    Who needs an STR

    You must obtain a satisfactory STR if either:

    • you are a business (prime contractor) tendering for Commonwealth Government procurements with an estimated total value over $4 million (including GST)
    • you are supplier involved in a panel arrangement when the total value of orders under the arrangement is collectively estimated to be over $4 million (including GST)
    • you are required as outlined in the tender request documentation.

    A prime contractor is a business tendering for or under contract with a Commonwealth Government agency.

    A first-tier subcontractor works directly for a prime contractor. First tier subcontractors undertaking work individually valued at over $4 million (including GST) for the prime contractor are also required to have a satisfactory tax record.

    Partnerships, trusts, joint ventures and consolidated groups

    A business that is tendering for a contract must request an STR. Different rules apply depending on the entity structure of the tenderer or subcontractor:

    Partnerships

    A partnership and each partner directly involved in delivering a contract must request an STR. New partners who become directly involved in the delivery of the contract must request an STR within a reasonable time after they become involved. These STR requirements apply if those involved remain partners in the partnership.

    Trusts

    The trust and trustee must request an STR. This includes corporate trustees.

    Joint ventures

    Each party to a joint venture must request an STR. The joint venture operator must also request an STR if they are not a participant of the joint venture.

    Tax consolidated groups

    Where a subsidiary of a tax consolidated group, or a multiple entry consolidated (MEC) group is tendering, the subsidiary and the head company must request an STR.

    If the head company of a tax consolidated group is tendering for the contract, its subsidiaries do not need to request a STR.

    Member of a GST groups

    Where a member of a GST group is tendering, the group representative and the group member must request an STR.

    Who should not apply for an STR

    The criteria for a satisfactory STR only apply to businesses tendering for Commonwealth Government procurements. An individual who is not in business should not apply for an STR.

    Criteria for a satisfactory STR

    The information in an STR comes from details on our systems. This may include information provided under Australia’s self-assessment regime.

    The PCP specifies the criteria for a satisfactory STR, where you:

    • are up to date with registration requirements, which may include 
      • being registered for an Australian business number (ABN) and GST
      • having a tax file number (TFN) 
        • if you are a tendering business or their first-tier subcontractor, you will need to be registered for a TFN, ABN and GST
        • if you are a partner or trustee, including a corporate trustee, you will need a TFN (you may also need to be registered for an ABN and GST if you are carrying on a business in your own right) 
         
       
    • have lodged at least 90% (of each lodgment type) of your obligations due in the last four years of operation (from the date of your request for an STR), including 
      • income tax returns
      • business activity statements (BAS)
      • fringe benefits tax (FBT) returns 
       

    Note: Reasonable delays in lodgments due to extensions agreed to by us will not affect you receiving a satisfactory STR.

    • need to pay any undisputed debt of $10,000 or greater by the due date, or have a payment plan in place with us (disputed debts subject to a formal objection, review or appeal will not affect a satisfactory STR).

    Less than 4 years Australian tax history

    If you have an Australian tax record of less than 4 years (for example, if you are a new Australian business or new foreign tenderer) you need to meet additional conditions to obtain a satisfactory STR. This includes making statements relating to:

    • being a non-resident with no tax record or a tax record of less than 4 years in Australia
    • compliance and payment of Australian and foreign tax obligations
    • no tax-related convictions in the last 4 years (applies to Australian and foreign entities).

    Ensure you have correctly answered all 3 supplementary statements.

    Note: If you are unable to agree to any of these statements, you may still submit your request; however, you will not receive a satisfactory STR.

    Unsatisfactory STR

    You will receive a report with your STR showing the criteria that were met or not met. This is for your information only.

    If you did not meet the satisfactory STR criteria, you may be able to take corrective action to bring your tax obligations up to date. You may then reapply for an STR the day after the corrective action is recorded in our systems.

    How to correct an unsatisfactory STR

    These corrective actions may help you to meet the satisfactory STR criteria:

    Registration

    Ensure you are up to date with registration requirements (ABN, GST, TFN).

    You may need to work out which registrations you need.

    Outstanding lodgments

    Ensure you have lodged at least 90% of all income tax returns, FBT returns and BAS due in the last 4 years.

    We have information to help you work out if you need to lodge a tax return.

    Notify us if lodgment is not required or if you have nothing to report; otherwise you may receive an unsatisfactory STR.

    Outstanding debt

    You can pay any undisputed debt of $10,000 or greater by the due date, or you may be able to set up a payment plan. For help with payment plans, go to Help with paying.

    If your disputed debt is under review, phone us on 13 28 66.

    Partners or trustees of a tendering business

    Ensure you have correctly indicated this in your STR request.

    Less than four years Australian tax history

    Ensure you have correctly answered all 3 supplementary statements.

    Requesting an STR

    Requests to obtain or maintain STRs should be made as early as possible. This allows time for processing before tender closing dates or previous contract expiry dates.

    How to apply

    How to apply for an STR will depend on whether you:

    To be registered with the ATO means you have a TFN or ABN or both.

    Registered with the ATO

    You can apply for an STR by accessing ATO online services. You will receive your STR through the same online service within 4 business days.

    Who is applying?

    Action

    Registered tax agents

    Apply using Online services for agents:

    • select a client
    • select Business
    • select Statement of tax record
    • at the Statement of tax record screen, select Apply on the Requests bar towards the bottom of the screen. 
     

    Businesses including:

    • sole traders with an ABN
    • corporate trustees with an ABN
     

    Apply using the Online services for business:

    • select Lodgments
    • select Reports and forms
    • select Statement of tax record from the Reports and forms list
    • at the Statement of tax record screen, select Apply on the Requests bar towards the bottom of the screen. 
     

    Individuals including:

    • partners or trustees who do not have an ABN
    • sole traders
     

    Apply using your myGov account linked to the ATO:

    • select Tax
    • select Lodgments
    • select Reports and forms
    • select Statement of tax record
    • at the Statement of tax record screen, select Apply on the Requests bar towards the bottom of the screen. 
     

    Important: If you are applying for an STR as a partner or a trustee of a business, you must indicate this in your STR request.

    Are you applying as a partner or a trustee of a business tendering for a Commonwealth Government contract?

    Your circumstance

    What to select

    Business that is tendering for the Commonwealth Government contract, including sole traders.

    No

    Partner of partnership or trustee of a trust that is tendering for a Commonwealth Government contract.

    Yes

    Not registered with the ATO

    How to apply

    Action

    Email

    Download the Statement of tax record application form (PDF, 173KB)This link will download a file and follow the instructions.

    Note: If you have an existing TFN or ABN, you will not be able to use this form. Using this form will lead to delays in processing your STR. Refer to:

     

    Telephone

    Phone 1300 146 094, then once instructed enter call-back code 118#, 8:00 am–6:00 pm AEST or AEDT, Monday–Friday. Note: 13 and 1300 numbers may not work from outside Australia, in which case you can: 

    • phone our switchboard on +61 2 6216 1111, 8:00 am–5:00 pm EST or EDT, Monday–Friday
    • ask to be transferred to 1300 146 094, once instructed, enter call-back code 118#
     

    No digital access to the ATO or there is an ATO system outage

    • For businesses phone 13 28 66
    • For tax agents phone 13 72 86 Fast Key Code 1 2 5 1.

    If you apply by phone, you will be mailed a paper copy of your STR. It may take longer than 4 business days for you to receive it due to postal delivery time.

    If you are applying by phone due to an ATO system outage, your STR will be available in online services when ATO systems are operating again.

    Receiving an STR

    We will generally process your request for an STR within 4 business days.

    If you apply using Online services for agents, Online services for business or myGov, you will receive your STR through the same online service and Statement of tax record screen where you submitted your request.

    Statement of tax record screen

    Image of Statement of tax record screen. Access the STR receipt, STR and Taxpayer report from the Requests section located near the bottom of the screen.

    The Statement of tax record screen will display a receipt within 24 hours of submitting your request. Once we have processed your request, the Requests section will display both your:

    • Statement of tax record specifying whether you have met or not met the satisfactory criteria (you will need to submit your satisfactory STR with your tender).
    • Taxpayer report detailing the elements of the PCP criteria you met or did not meet (the report is for your information only and you should not submit it with your tender).

    If a receipt does not display within 24 hours of submitting your request, or you do not receive the STR within 4 business days, phone us on:

    • 13 28 66 (for businesses)
    • 13 72 86 (for registered agents).

    STR not received by tender closing date

    If you have requested an STR but have not received it by the tender closing date, refer to your tender request documentation to determine what you can do. You may be able to include a copy of your request receipt with your tender and provide your STR within 4 business days after the tender closes.

    STR validity

    An STR is valid for:

    • 12 months from the time of issue – if you have an Australian tax record of 4 or more years
    • 6 months from the time of issue – if you have an Australian tax record of less than 4 years.

    Your STR must be valid at the closing date of a tender. You may need to provide an updated STR during the life of a contract if this is specified in the terms of the contract.

    Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra. 

      Last modified: 01 Jun 2022QC 58371