• Employee share scheme news and updates

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    Reporting to us

    Lodgment questions and issues

    Below is a list of the most asked questions and lodgment issues raised during 2015–16 reporting year.

    Unable to see the ESS online form in the Business Portal

    Providers reporting through ATO portals must ensure they have the correct permissions set in Access Manager to prepare and lodge ESS reports. Your access administrator can login to Access Manager to set the permissions.

    Unable to see the ESS online form in the Tax Agent Portal

    Providers reporting through ATO portals need to have the correct permissions set in Access Manager to prepare and lodge ESS reports. Your access administrator can login to Access Manager to set the permissions.

    Numbers of employees or schemes in the Online form

    You can report up to 50 employees using the Online form, and you can report up to three different schemes per employee.

    Online form is loading when I try to access the form

    Check that you are using Firefox as the default browser.

    Difference between acquisition date and plan date

    • For taxed up front schemes the acquisition date is the same as the plan date.
    • For deferral schemes the acquisition date is the grant or offer date.

    The plan date is the vesting date and the date of the taxing event in the financial year of reporting.

    Difference between assessable and gross discount amounts

    • An assessable amount is the gross amount less an adjustment.
    • A gross amount is the full amount of the ESS discount received.

    Why does a Tax Agent need to have the Income Tax role selected to view the Online form?

    Tax agents are required to make sure their client is registered in their client list, with an ‘Income Tax’ role added to the client profile to access the ESS online form through the Tax Agent Portal.

    Issues with the Online form

    We are aware of an issue where data entered into an online form one day does not appear the next day. Providers must ensure they are using Firefox as their default browser, and must click on 'save and exit' (not 'save and continue') when completing the form.

    We are investigating an issue where clients are unable to access an online form due to electronic lodgment by a Tax Agent.

    See also:

    Amending reported information

    If you have lodged an ESS annual report and you need to amend the information provided, you must lodge, a replacement or amendment report.

    Replacement and amendment reports must include the following information as it appeared on the original record:

    • income year
    • provider Australian business number (ABN)
    • provider employee ID
    • employee tax file number (TFN)
    • plan reference
    • plan date or taxing point.

    Failure to match the six identifiers will result in multiple transactions recorded with the ATO and on the ATO pre-fill service for your employee.

    Reporting amendments for 2015 and prior years

    To report ESS amendments for 2015 financial year and prior years use one of the following three options:

    • paper form NAT 73514, which will need to be mailed to the ATO.
    • bulk load Excel spreadsheet (BLES) v1.3.4 via the ATO Business Portal or ATO Tax Agent Portal Secure Mail and using your current AUSKey
    • ESS electronic reporting specifications v1.0.1 via the ATO Business Portal or ATO Tax Agent Portal File Transfer and using your current AUSKey.

    Plan dates

    Multiple taxing events for the same employee with the same plan within a financial year need monetary amounts and the number of interests combined,

    • using the earliest plan date or taxing event date reported.

    When a share or option plan is offered or granted (the acquisition date) then it should be allocated a unique identifier. This identifier follows the plan or scheme in its entirety for future taxing events or plan dates.

    As defined in ESS specification v2.0, the plan date is the date that a taxing point happens to an employee share scheme interest acquired by an employee.

    • For an upfront scheme this will be the acquisition date.
    • For a deferred plan this will be the deferring taxing point reported in the format CCYYMMDD.
    • The plan date must be within the same financial year as the ESS annual report.
    • Where there is more than one taxing point during the year, enter the date of the first taxing point in the reporting field.
    • The plan date field must be populated with a date on or after the date reported in the acquisition date field.

    2015–16 Lodgment checklist

    Do you have an AUSkey?

    To lodge online you or your intermediary will need an AUSkey password.

    To get your AUSkey:

    To manage access and permissions for online services, go to Access Manager.

    Are you using the latest version of the ESS electronic reporting specifications?

    You need to use version v2.0.0.


    Lodge using our secure Business PortalExternal Link or Tax Agent Portal

    In the Business Portal or Tax Agent Portal select File Transfer from the left hand menu:

    • Lodge file.

    Complete Supplier Lodgment Declaration

    If you are using an intermediary (supplier) to lodge your ESS report on your behalf, download and complete your Employee share scheme annual report – supplier lodgment declaration. The declaration should be retained for a minimum period of 5 years.

    If you have any questions about preparing your report


    If you have any questions about the Business Portal


    Help with lodging

    If you need help, you can contact us by:

      Last modified: 26 Oct 2016QC 27281