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  • ATO online services simulator

    The ATO online services simulator is an interactive online platform that allows you to learn about the functions, features and services available in the ATO's Online services for individuals and sole traders.

    The simulator has been created for educational purposes only. It doesn't interact with any of our processing systems and can't be used to lodge your tax return or any other details to us.

    Using the simulator, you can interact with:

    • income tax related products
    • activity statements
    • PAYG instalments
    • payment options
    • accounts and registrations
    • superannuation services
    • employment, and other details.

    On this page:

    How the simulator works

    The simulator contains eight client scenarios, each with different attributes.

    When you select a client scenario you will be able to access the functions and services relevant to that scenario. Our simulator uses mock client data and does not interact with our processing systems, so there is some limited functionality.

    New functions and services are incorporated into our Online services for individuals and sole traders throughout the year. We plan to incorporate these into the simulator within a couple of weeks after the end of each quarter.

    The mock data used in the simulator client scenarios is displayed as it would on 1 August 2021 and will not be updated when new functions and services are included during the year. For example, super payments are reflected as they would on 1 August, even though data from the funds may be typically reported in October.

    Next step:

    What's new

    For the September 2021 release:

    • YourSuper comparison page has been added and includes mock data for each client scenario, but has limited functionality.
    • Statement of tax record page has had minor changes and has been relocated within the menu – you can find it by selecting Tax, then Lodgments, then the Reports and forms screen.

    Limited functionality

    The following functions are limited and may not reflect the correct or chosen outcomes because the simulator does not interact with our processing systems and uses mock data.

    • Personal details (including addresses and bank accounts) that are changed, or actions taken on a screen, will not always be displayed on other screens – for example, if you make a payment it will not be reflected on the client account.
    • Tax return estimate calculation – HELP debt or PAYG instalments may not be taken into account for the calculation.
    • First home super saver – the maximum release amount is mocked up and will not reflect any information added.
    • YourSuper comparison – the Compare super products function will not work within the simulator because it requires system interaction – to compare super products, visit the YourSuper comparison tool.

    Client scenarios

    Choose from the following scenarios for more information:

    1. Lodge myTax with no pre-fill data, transfer super
    2. Under 18 years – lodge myTax
    3. Retiree over 60 – manage PAYGI, transfer balance cap, lodge myTax
    4. Complex myTax, BAS including PAYGW, TPAR, STR, manage super
    5. Working holiday maker – lodge myTax, new employment
    6. Non-resident with a HELP debt – report worldwide income
    7. View/amend myTax lodged returns, HELP debt, super
    8. Lodge myTax, view agent lodged returns, super ENCC election

    1. Lodge myTax with no pre-fill data, transfer super

    You can use this scenario to:

    • prepare tax returns for the 2013–14 to 2020–21 years  
      • the tax returns do not contain any pre-filled third-party information, such as salary and wages or bank interest
      • you can enter any data you want and receive an estimated assessment for a person aged 18–59 (for scenarios outside these ages, see under 18 years old or over 60 years old)
      • eligibility rules apply to the 2013–14 and 2014–15 years because some fields in the tax return were not included in myTax – find out more about prior year returns
       
    • prepare an online refund of franking credits claim (for the years 2014–15 to present), if they are eligible to do so
    • complete a non-lodgment advice for the years they are not required to lodge a tax return
    • view and consolidate multiple superannuation accounts, and find out whether you are eligible to withdraw some or all the ATO-held super – accounts include  
      • two types of ATO-held super – tax-free superannuation holding account (SHA) special account, and unclaimed superannuation money (USM)
      • two accounts held with super funds
       
    • create a new employment record (online tax file number (TFN) declaration) and nominate or change super funds.

    2. Under 18 years – lodge myTax

    You can use this scenario to:

    • prepare tax returns for the 2019–20 and 2020–21 years – tailored to a person under 18 years old  
      • the 2020–21 tax return does not contain any pre-filled third-party information
      • the 2019–20 tax return contains some basic pre-filled third-party information you can view, add to, edit or delete, including a payment summary and private health insurance policy details as a dependent
      • enter details to receive an estimated assessment
       
    • prepare an online refund of franking credits claim, if they are eligible to do so
    • complete a non-lodgment advice for the years they are not required to lodge a tax return
    • view a superannuation account that includes employer contributions
    • create a new employment record (online TFN declaration) and nominate or change super funds.

    3. Retiree over 60 – manage PAYGI, transfer balance cap, lodge myTax

    You can use this scenario to:

    • prepare a tax return for the 2020–21 year – tailored to a person over 60 years old
      • the tax return contains a pre-filled JobSeeker payment
      • even though the client is in receipt of a super income stream, the payment summary is not pre-filled so you
        • can enter any details, and
        • use the Defined benefit income cap tool to work out the tax offset
         
      • you can enter any additional information you want and receive an estimated assessment tailored for a person over 60 years old
       
    • view and amend lodged tax returns
      • to do this select Manage tax returns on the homepage or; from the top menu, select Tax then Lodgments, Income tax, then the History tab
      • there are time limits for amending tax assessments – for individuals this is generally two years
      • the 2017–18, 2018–19 and 2019–20 tax returns were lodged using myTax and include the detailed information from the lodgment
      • the 2014–15 and 2015–16 returns were lodged by a tax agent – tax agent lodged returns include the label alpha-numeric references, like the paper tax return, and for that year don't include the more detailed information available in myTax lodged returns
       
    • elect annual or quarterly pay as you go instalments (PAYGI) – this client has been entered into the PAYGI system to help manage the tax payable because of the large amount of interest in the 2019–20 tax return
    • manage tax registrations – this client is registered for PAYGI and could add other registration types if their circumstances changed
    • has an active payment plan for their overdue income tax debt, with two payments already made
    • view superannuation accounts
    • is now in receipt of a super income stream (defined benefit income pension) as evidenced in the transfer balance cap.

    4. Complex myTax, BAS including PAYGW, TPAR, STR, manage super

    This scenario has diverse income from working for an employer, running his own business, and from investments. This year he has also taken on an employee.

    You can use this scenario to:

    • prepare a tax return for the 2020–21 year – there is extensive pre-filled information you can view, add to, edit or delete, including  
      • taxable payments and grants they have received
      • income statement from an employer using Single Touch Payroll (STP)
      • interest and managed fund income
      • business payment summary – from a labour-hire firm
      • business transactions
      • capital gains from the disposal of shares and a capital loss carried forward from the previous year
      • employee share scheme income
      • deduction for personal super contributions
       
    • view and amend lodged tax returns
      • to do this select Manage tax returns on the homepage or; from the top menu, select Tax then Lodgments, Income tax, then the History tab
      • there are time limits for amending tax assessments – for individuals including sole traders, this is generally two years
       
    • prepare a business activity statement (BAS), including goods and services tax (GST), pay as you go withholding (PAYGW) and PAYGI – you can also view and revise lodged activity statements
    • manage PAYGI
    • manage tax registrations – this client is registered for GST, PAYGW and PAYGI – you can update or add other registration types if circumstances change
    • submit an online PAYG withholding variation application
    • prepare a Taxable payments annual report (TPAR) to report payments you have made, or submit a non-lodgment advice if you haven't made any payments
    • request and view a Statement of tax record (STR) (also known as a Commonwealth procurement statement)
    • view share disposal transactions
    • manage GST property credits
    • manage multiple superannuation accounts, including  
      • view fund transactions and concessional contributions consisting of salary sacrifice and super guarantee payments made by an employer – information suggests there may be an underpayment of super guarantee
      • view a non-concessional election
      • view First home super saver scheme (FHSSS) information
       
    • access the Small business superannuation clearing house (SBSCH) to pay employees' super
    • view current and history employment details and income statements lodged by employers using Single Touch Payroll (STP)
    • manage their own STP reporting, now that they have an employee – this includes requesting a deferral or exemption
    • create a new employment record (online TFN declaration) and nominate or change super funds
    • view associate details for positions they hold with linked entities, including their self-managed superannuation fund.

    5. Working holiday maker – lodge myTax, new employment

    The person in this scenario is a non-resident who worked temporarily in Australia during the year. They are aged between 18 and 35 years and hold a Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) or a Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462). Working holiday makers are taxed differently to Australian residents.

    You can use this scenario to:

    • prepare a tax return for the 2020–21 year  
      • the return contains a pre-filled payment summary you can view, add to, edit and delete
      • access other screens and functions, including tax offsets for working holiday makers
       
    • view and transfer ATO-held super to the open superannuation account – the application for a Departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) is not part of the simulator.
    • view employment details and an income statement lodged by an employer using Single Touch Payroll (STP)
    • create a new employment record (online TFN declaration) and nominate or change super funds.

    6. Non-resident with a HELP debt – report worldwide income

    The person in this scenario was an Australian resident, but they currently reside overseas. As a non-resident with a Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt they are required to report their world-wide income and make repayments towards their HELP debt, depending on their income.

    You can use this scenario to:

    • prepare the 2020–21 tax return as a non-resident (if they still reside overseas) or as a resident (if they returned to Australia during the year) – to report worldwide income, you can choose to use the
      • Simple self-assessment method
      • Comprehensive tax-based assessment method, or
      • Overseas assessed method
       
    • view and amend the 2018–19 and 2019–20 tax returns lodged as a non-resident – the Simple self-assessment method was used to report their worldwide income
    • prepare tax returns for the 2014–15 and 2015–16 years  
    • complete a non-lodgment advice for the years they are not required to lodge a tax return
    • prepare an online refund of franking credits claim, if they are eligible to do so
    • view the 2016–17 and 2017–18 tax returns lodged using myTax while still an Australian resident  
      • to do this select Manage tax returns on the homepage or; from the top menu, select Tax then Lodgments, Income tax, then the History tab
      • there are time limits for amending tax assessments – for individuals this is generally two years
       
    • make a payment plan or a payment towards the overdue tax debt resulting from the HELP overseas levy calculated on their 2019–20 world-wide income
    • view and manage their Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) account – find out more at Types of loans
    • provide an overseas travel notification
    • report world-wide income
    • view a superannuation account
    • create a new employment record (online TFN declaration) which is tailored to acknowledge the HELP and TSL accounts; and nominate or change super funds should they return to Australia.

    7. View/amend myTax lodged returns, HELP debt, super

    In this scenario the tax returns have been lodged using myTax. The labels and format will display in the same format and include the detailed information from the original return.

    You can use this scenario to:

    • view and amend the lodged tax returns for 2015–16 to 2020–21
      • to do this select Manage tax returns on the homepage or; from the top menu, select Tax then Lodgments, Income tax, then the History tab
      • there are time limits for amending tax assessments (generally 2 years for individuals) so you can amend the 2019–20 and 2020–21 tax returns, but only view the earlier years
       
    • lodge 2013–14 and 2014–15 tax returns – these returns contain some pre-filled third-party information (eligibility rules apply to these years because some fields in the tax return were not included in myTax – find out more about prior year returns)
    • submit an online PAYG withholding variation application
    • manage superannuation accounts, including  
      • view fund transactions, which include concessional contributions consisting of super guarantee payments made by an employer, and personal contributions
      • transfer or withdraw ATO-held super
      • view First home super saver scheme (FHSSS) information
       
    • view and manage their Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) and Trade Support Loan (TSL) accounts – find out more at Types of loans
    • view employment details and income statements lodged by their employer using Single Touch Payroll (STP)
    • create a new employment record (online TFN declaration) which is tailored to acknowledge the HELP and TSL accounts; and nominate or change super funds.

    8. Lodge myTax, view agent lodged returns, super ENCC election

    This scenario is typical of the information that would pre-fill by late July and has less complex affairs than scenario 4, but you can add information to make it as complex as you want. The prior year tax returns have been lodged by a tax agent so the return displays in the same format as if it was lodged on paper, including the alpha-numeric references. Regardless of how the original return was lodged, it can be amended online.

    You can use this scenario to:

    • prepare a tax return for the 2020–21 year, which includes some pre-filled information you can view, add to, edit or delete, including  
      • an income statement from an employer using Single Touch Payroll (STP)
      • interest income
      • private health insurance details
       
    • view and amend prior year tax returns lodged by a tax agent  
      • to do this select Manage tax returns on the homepage or; from the top menu, select Tax then Lodgments, Income tax, then the History tab
      • there are time limits for amending tax assessments – for individuals this is generally two years – you can therefore amend the 2018–19 and 2019–20 tax returns, but only view the earlier years returns
       
    • submit an online PAYG withholding variation application
    • manage superannuation accounts, including  
      • view fund transactions, including concessional contributions consisting of super guarantee payments made by an employer, and personal contributions
      • consolidate super accounts and ATO-held super
      • make an Excess non-concessional contributions (ENCC) election
       
    • view employment details and income statements lodged by their employer using Single Touch Payroll (STP)
    • create a new employment record (online TFN declaration) and nominate or change super funds
    • view their tax agent details.

    Troubleshooting

    See Help and support for online services – individuals for help.

    Information pre-filled in myTax

    The information pre-filled in the scenarios is consistent with information that would pre-fill in an actual myTax return, and consists of:

    • contact details such as
      • postal and email addresses
      • phone numbers
      • financial institutions details
      • residency status
       
    • certain prior year tax return information including spouse's name, main occupation, carried forward capital losses and some rental property details
    • third-party reported information, including  
      • income statements and payment summaries from employers
      • payment summaries from super funds
      • pensions, payments, and allowances from government welfare agencies (most commonly Centrelink)
      • interest from banks, credit unions and building societies
      • dividend payments from share registries
      • business transactions reported by merchants
      • managed fund distributions
      • capital gains from the disposal of property or shares
      • taxable payments and grants
      • private health insurance (PHI) policy details from health insurers
      • eligible personal super contributions reported by super funds.
       

    When pre-filled information is available

    When preparing your tax return, the amount of information that pre-fills will depend on when the return is being lodged and whether the information has been reported to the ATO and processed. Information is reported to the ATO from 1 July each year with most of it being available by late July. It is generally processed and available for pre-filling within a couple of days of being reported.

    See also:

    Last modified: 01 Oct 2021QC 58919