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  • ATO online services simulator

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

    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:

    • individual tax return related products
    • activity statements
    • PAYG instalments
    • payment options
    • accounts
    • 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 throughout the year. While we plan to incorporate these into the simulator as quickly as possible, it may take a couple of weeks after the end of each quarter for them to be available.

    The mock data used in the simulator client scenarios is displayed as it would on 1 August 2020 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:

    See also:

    Client scenarios

    Choose from the following scenarios for more information:

    1. Lodge myTax 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, GST property, 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. View/amend tax agent lodged returns, super ENCC election

    Troubleshooting

    See Troubleshooting for individuals for help.

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

    You can use this scenario to:

    • prepare tax returns for the 2013–14 to 2019–20 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 ATO-held super. Find out whether you are eligible to withdraw some or all the ATO-held super. This scenario has multiple super holdings, including  
      • 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 2018–19 and 2019–20 years – tailored to a person under 18 years old  
      • the 2019–20 tax return does not contain any pre-filled third-party information
      • the 2018–19 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
      • 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 2019–20 year – tailored to a person over 60 years old  
      • the tax return does 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 tailored for a person over 60 years old
    • view and/or 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 and 2018–19 tax returns were lodged using myTax and include more detailed information. They can be amended because they were processed less than two years ago. This scenario receives account-based pensions from their super funds - this income does not need to be included in their tax return
      • 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.
        Because these returns were processed more than two years ago, they can't be amended, but they can be viewed.
    • 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 amount of interest in the 2018–19 tax return
    • make a payment plan or a payment towards their overdue income tax debt, or activity statement account (for PAYGI)
    • view superannuation accounts
    • view events that count towards the transfer balance cap – the transfer balance cap applies because this simulated client has superannuation in retirement phase.

    4. Complex myTax, BAS, TPAR, GST property, STR, manage super

    This scenario is quite the entrepreneur with income from employment in Australia and overseas, his own business, and investments.

    You can use this scenario to:

    • prepare a tax return for the 2019–20 year – there is extensive pre-filled information you can view, add to, edit or delete, including  
      • taxable payments and grants
      • income statements from employers using Single Touch Payroll (STP)
      • foreign employment income reported on a payment summary
      • interest income
      • rental property details – from the 2018–19 tax return
      • 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
      • private health insurance policy information
    • view and/or 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
      • the 2014–15 to 2017–18 tax returns were processed more than two years ago so they can't be amended, but they can be viewed. The 2018–19 tax return can be amended.
    • prepare a business activity statement (BAS), including goods and services tax (GST) and pay as you go instalments (PAYGI) – you can also revise lodged activity statements
    • manage pay as you go instalments (PAYGI)
    • prepare a Taxable payments annual report (TPAR) or submit a non-lodgment advice
    • 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
      • consolidate and potentially withdraw ATO-held super
      • manage a non-concessional election
    • 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)
    • create a new employment record (online TFN declaration) and nominate or change super funds.

    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 2019-20 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. Apply for a Departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) to receive super paid for them while temporarily in Australia
    • 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 now 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 2019–20 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, the Comprehensive tax-based assessment method, or the Overseas assessed method.
    • view and/or amend the 2018–19 tax return 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 – neither of the returns contain pre-filled third-party information so perhaps this person was not working at that time. Eligibility rules apply to the 2014–15 year because some fields in the tax return were not included in myTax – find out more about Prior year returns.
    • 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 2018–19 world-wide income
    • view and manage a 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. Apply for a Departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) to receive super paid for them while in Australia
    • 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

    The amendment labels and format will display depending on how the original tax return has been lodged. In this scenario the original tax returns were lodged using myTax, so they include the detailed information from the original return.

    You can use this scenario to:

    • view and/or amend the lodged tax returns for 2015–16 to 2019–20  
      • 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
    • 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.
    • manage superannuation accounts, including  
      • view fund transactions, including 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 Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) and Trade Support Loan (TSL) accounts, see Types of loans
    • view employment details and income statements lodged by an 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. View/amend tax agent lodged returns, super ENCC election

    The amendment labels and format will display differently depending on how the original tax return has been lodged. In this scenario, the original tax returns have been lodged by a tax agent. 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:

    • view/amend 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
    • 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 an employer using Single Touch Payroll (STP)
    • create a new employment record (online TFN declaration) and nominate or change super funds.

    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 and 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 a 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.

    Limited functionality

    The following functions are limited 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 displayed in the client account.
    • Tax return estimate calculation – HELP debt or PAYG instalments may not be taken into account for the calculation.
    • Transfer super – Because the outcome is mocked up, it will not necessarily reflect the options chosen.
    Last modified: 01 Jul 2020QC 58919