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  • Communication

    Find out how to view and send within the Communication menu.

    On this page:

    Client mail

    The Client mail inbox lets you view your clients' communications that have been sent to you digitally when your clients’ communication preferences are set to your practice.

    These communications are also available in the Communication history.

    Client mail can also be added as a feature on the agent home page.

    To view communications where the communication preferences are set to your practice, select Communication then Client mail.

    Note: You can also check Communication history for communications sent to your clients including other communication types such as SMS and paper that you won’t receive in your Client mail inbox.

    See also:

    Communication history

    The Communication history gives you access to most communications we send to your clients via the following channels:

    • myGov
    • email
    • SMS
    • paper
    • agent digital – used to send digital communications to Online services for agents when you have set up Communication preferences to your practice
    • ATO Online – used to send a digital copy of a statement of tax record.

    Not all communications with you and your clients are available in Communication history. We will continue to add more communication types to enhance this function further.

    If your client registers for a myGov account and links it to the ATO then our digital communications will be sent to their myGov Inbox unless you set communication preferences to your practice. You can also view and action these communications from the Communication history.

    To view a client's communication history, see Communication history - client summary.

    To view your communication history, from the agent home page:

    • select Communication then Communication history                      
      • select or deselect All clients depending on the communications you want to view. For up to three clients deselect All clients and type the client identifier. If searching for multiple clients you can only use the same identifier type, TFN or ABN. You can use a combination of the identifier and name
       
    • select Time period using the drop-down menu – Last 24 hours, Last 7 days, Last 30 days, Last 5 years, or Choose dates
    • select Channel
    • results will be displayed
    • select Download CSV – a new window will open with the search results as an Excel spreadsheet
    • select Print friendly version to print or save a copy.

    See also:

    Practice mail

    Practice mail allows you to communicate with us by a secure email channel, as well as view messages you have sent.

    Within your practice, you may have access to more than one mailbox; your own, the practice's or another person in the practice.

    What you can view depends on your Access Manager permissions. For:

    • your own mailbox – you will have full email functionality to create, send, delete, reply, allocate and set up notifications (you will need your own myGovID to create your own mailbox)
    • the practice mailbox – you can view, delete, allocate or set up notifications (you can't create, send or reply to an email)
    • other mailboxes in your practice – you can view and allocate emails but cannot action or delete emails.

    Note: Before AUSkey was decommissioned, you could have multiple mailboxes as you could have one mailbox for each AUSkey you had. While an AUSkey can no longer be used, the mailboxes still exist for reference purposes. To respond to mail in these mailboxes, a user with admin access must first move them to your new myGovID mailbox. Each user can only have one myGovID and consequently only have one mailbox.

    To view mail:

    • select Communication then Practice mail
    • select the relevant mailbox – the mailboxes you can view depends on your Access Manager permissions
    • select Inbox or Sent – you can sort by Client, Subject and Received date.

    To allocate mail for the practice mailbox you will need to be a principal authority or authorisation administrator in Relationship Authorisation ManagerExternal Link (RAM).

    You can then:

    • select mail items to Allocate to the relevant person in your practice
    • set up notifications – if you have the relevant Access Manager permissions, you can set up email notifications for your own mailbox and the practice mailbox to alert you when you receive Practice mail messages from us by                
      • selecting Notifications at the bottom of the screen
      • entering an email address
      • selecting Save.
       

    Send a new message

    When sending a mail messages ensure you:

    • have a separate message for each subject
    • include clear client identifiers such as their full name, TFN or ABN, receipt ID or case ID
    • attach all supporting documentation, up to a maximum of six attachments.

    To send a new message:

    • from the Agent home page select Communication then Practice mail, or from Client summary select Profile then New messages
    • select New
    • select the topic and subject of your message. Certain messages require an attachment. See Forms required to be attached for a list of the topics and subjects in which require a form to be attached.
    • complete the required fields and attach the relevant form if required
    • select the Declaration then select Send
    • select Print friendly version to print or save a copy.

    Note: You will receive an ATO receipt ID when the message has successfully been sent. You will need to quote this number to us when enquiring about the request.

    Forms required to be attached

    Forms required according to topic and subject

    Topic

    Subject

    Form to attach

    Debt and lodgment

    Agent assessed deferral

    Agent assessed deferral application

    Debt and lodgment

    ATO assessed deferral

     

    Debt and lodgment

    ATO assessed deferral – Taxable payments annual report

    ATO assessed deferral application

    Debt and lodgment

    Closely held deferral requests

    Closely held entity lodgment concession request form

    Income tax

    Agent assessed deferral

    Agent assessed deferral application

    Income tax

    ATO assessed deferral

    ATO assessed deferral application

    Income tax

    Copy of returns

    Copies of tax documents request

    Income tax

    New or re-engaged client deferral

    Deferrals for new or re-engaged clients with overdue returns application

    Income tax

    Income tax return amendment – partnership

    Request for amendment of income tax return

    Income tax

    Income tax return amendment – trusts

    Request for amendment of income tax return

    Income tax

    Income tax return amendment – companies

    Request for amendment of income tax return

    Income tax

    Income tax return amendment – super funds

    Request for amendment of income tax return

    Activity statement

    Agent assessed deferral

    Agent assessed deferral application

    Activity statement

    ATO assessed deferral

    ATO assessed deferral application

    Fringe benefits tax

    Agent assessed deferral

    Agent assessed deferral application

    Fringe benefits tax

    ATO assessed deferral

    ATO assessed deferral application

    Goods and services tax (GST)

    Agent assessed deferral

    Agent assessed deferral application

    GST

    ATO assessed deferral

    ATO assessed deferral application

    Superannuation

    Agent request for additional time to lodge

    Agent assessed deferral application

    ATO assessed deferral application

    General questions, problems and help

    Review of decision for deferrals from tax agents or BAS agents

    Review of deferral decision application

    Topic and subject

    The mail topics and subjects available to you depend on if you are a tax or BAS agent.

    Tax agents
    Tax agent mail topic and subject list

    Topic

    Subject

    Activity statements

    • Agent assessed deferral
    • ATO assessed deferral
    • Cancellation of failure to lodge on time (FTL) penalty (safe harbour)
    • Debit or nil balance enquiry
    • How do I complete my activity statement?
    • Payment arrangement request
    • Penalty or interest calculation
    • Refund for activity statement
    • Remission of failure to lodge on time penalty
    • Remission of general interest charge (GIC)
    • Remission of non-electronic notification or non-electronic payment penalty
    • Status of business activity statement (BAS) refund (where >14 days since BAS was lodged)
    • Substantiation for activity statement refund

     

    Debt and lodgment

    • Agent assessed deferral
    • ATO assessed deferral
    • ATO assessed deferral – Taxable payments annual report
    • Bulk client removal
    • Cancellation of FTL penalty (safe harbour)
    • Closely held deferral request
    • Debit or nil balance query
    • Managed lodgment program
    • Payment arrangement request
    • Payment arrangement with supporting documents
    • Penalty or interest calculation
    • Remission of failure to lodge on time penalty
    • Remission of general interest charge
    • Remission of late lodgment penalty – tax agent requests
    • Remission of shortfall interest charge
    • Supported lodgment program
    • Taxable payments annual report

     

    Excise

    • Alcohol enquiry
    • Audit
    • Collections returns
    • Duty-free store enquiry
    • Fuel tax credit enquiry (not to be used for registration requests)
    • Other fuel scheme enquiry
    • Petroleum enquiry
    • Product stewardship for oil – category 1 test
    • Technical advice request
    • Tobacco enquiry
    • WET, FTC, LCT registration
    • Wine equalisation tax enquiry (not to be used for registration requests)

     

    Exploration incentives

    • Exploration Development Incentive (EDI) advice
    • EDI lodgment
    • Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive (JMEI) advice
    • JMEI lodgment

     

    Fringe benefits tax (FBT)

    • Agent request for electronic FBT client list
    • Agent assessed deferral
    • ATO assessed deferral
    • Cancel FBT
    • Cancellation of FTL penalty (safe harbour)
    • Change details for FBT
    • Debit or nil balance enquiry
    • FBT amendment request
    • FBT non-lodgment advice and FBT returns
    • General FBT questions
    • Other
    • Payment arrangement request
    • Penalty or interest calculation
    • Register for FBT
    • Remission of failure to lodge on time penalty
    • Remission of general interest charge
    • Remission of late lodgment penalty – tax agent requests

     

    General questions, problems and help

    • Notify ATO of appointment of new public officer
    • Review of decision for deferrals from tax agents
    • Review of decisions for the remission of late lodgment penalty – tax agent requests
    • Single touch payroll bulk requests
    • Single touch payroll deferrals
    • Whole of practice transfer

     

    GST

    • Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) – elect to exclude grants
    • Agent assessed deferral
    • Assistance to register or update GST details electronically
    • ATO assessed deferral
    • Charities, religious institutions, non-profit entities
    • Consolidation registration enquiry
    • Deferral of GST on importations (DGST)
    • Education courses
    • Export, import or online trading of goods and services
    • Financial supplies or Insurance
    • Food, entertainment and simplified accounting method (SAM)
    • Government grant or funding, taxes, fees, charges
    • Grouping or branching registration enquiry
    • GST accounting method or cycle change
    • GST at settlement
    • GST joint venture notification
    • Health and medical product or service
    • How do I complete my activity statement?
    • Land or property transaction (including retirement villages)
    • Motor vehicles or luxury car tax
    • Other sales, purchases and tax invoice enquiry
    • Registrations update
    • Time limits on refunds or activity statement amendment

     

    Income tax

    • Agent assessed deferral
    • Attribution managed investment trust (AMIT) member choice
    • AMIT trustee request for remission of income tax
    • ATO assessed deferral
    • Cancellation of failure to lodge on time penalty (safe harbour)
    • Certificate of residency
    • Copy of returns
    • Debit or nil balance query
    • Division 7A relief
    • Early stage innovation company (ESIC) Report NAT 75119 unable to submit online
    • Financial hardship refunds
    • Income tax return amendment – companies
    • Income tax return amendment – partnerships
    • Income tax return amendment – super funds
    • Income tax return amendment – trusts
    • Lodge loss carry back claim form
    • Lodge temporary full expensing schedule
    • New or re-engaged client deferral
    • Payment arrangement request
    • Penalty or interest calculation
    • Prefilled tax return data incorrect
    • Prior year IT amendment for earnout purposes
    • Remission of failure to lodge on time penalty
    • Remission of general interest charge
    • Remission of late lodgment penalty – tax agent requests
    • Remission of shortfall interest charge
    • RTP schedule lodgment
    • Stapled group – choice form
    • Submit 14ZYA notice
    • Substituted accounting period (SAP)

     

    Individuals audit

    • Capital gains tax
    • Dependent tax offset or Medicare levy exemptions
    • Dividends
    • Employee share scheme
    • Employment income and allowances
    • Foreign sourced income
    • Higher Education Loan Program or income tests
    • Interest or welfare
    • Lump sum and eligible termination payments
    • Medicare surcharge or private health rebate
    • Other
    • Partnerships and trust distributions
    • Taxable government grants and payments
    • Taxable payment annual report

     

    Lodge report

    • Annual investment income report extension of time
    • Annual investment income report lodgment – PC spreadsheet
    • Common Reporting Standard (CRS) extension of time
    • Employee share scheme annual report extension of time
    • Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) extension of time
    • Non-resident interest, dividend and royalty annual report lodgment – PC spreadsheet
    • Quarterly tax file number report extension of time
    • Quarterly tax file number report lodgment – PC spreadsheet

     

    Pay as you go (PAYG) instalments

    • Instalments – change instalment rate
    • Instalments – change PAYG instalment cycle
    • Instalments – explanation of instalment rate
    • Instalments – other instalment queries
    • Withholding – ATO cycle change letter received – request to remain on current cycle
    • Withholding – cycle change request – withholding amount less than $1 million
    • Withholding – cycle change request – withholding amount more than $1 million

     

    Petroleum resource rent tax

    • General enquiries
    • PRRT return or instalment lodgment

     

    Refunds or remission

    • ATO pay interest on an early payment – request
    • Client overpayment or double payment
    • Excess imputation credit refunds
    • Financial hardship refunds
    • Interest paid on an overpayment of a tax return
    • Non-resident withholding tax (NRWT) – custodials
    • Penalty or interest calculation
    • Refund tax withheld
    • Remission of failure to lodge on time penalty
    • Remission of general interest charge
    • Remission of late lodgment penalty – tax agent requests
    • Remission of non-electronic notification or non-electronic payment penalty
    • Returned refunds

     

    Registrations

    • Bank account details update request
    • Consolidation registration enquiry
    • Grouping or branching registration enquiries
    • GST joint venture notification
    • If the online process for cancellation of an ABN or tax obligation has not met your requirements
    • If the online process for registering an ABN or tax obligation has not met your requirements
    • If the online process for updating contact details has not met your requirements
    • If the online process for updating name and address details has not met your requirements
    • If the online process for updating other registration details has not met your requirements
    • Non-resident 4157 registration
    • Non-residents registration enquiry
    • Notify ATO of appointment of a new public officer
    • WET, FTC, LCT registration

     

    Statement request or account details

    • Debit or nil balance enquiry
    • Payment arrangement request
    • Penalty or interest calculation
    • Remission of failure to lodge on time penalty
    • Remission of general interest charge

     

    Superannuation

    • Agent request for additional time to lodge
    • Are there superannuation monies for a client on the lost members register?
    • Direct claim payout from the superannuation holding account special account (SHA)
    • Is a particular fund registered as a complying super fund?
    • Lodge Super guarantee (SG) statement
    • Lodge Super guarantee opt out form
    • Lodgment – Transfer balance account report
    • Manual payment request
    • Non-concessional contribution (NCC) balance
    • Other
    • Payment and transfer of superannuation holdings reserve
    • Payment arrangement request
    • Penalty or interest calculation
    • Refund request
    • Remission of general interest charge
    • Self-managed super fund (SMSF) cancellation of registration where the fund has not legally established
    • SMSF new registrant – return not necessary request
    • SMSF product ruling
    • SMSF specific advice

     

    Trustee services

    • Day 1 notification

     

    BAS agents
    BAS agent mail topic and subject list

    Topic

    Subject

    Activity statements

    • Agent assessed deferral
    • ATO assessed deferral
    • Cancellation of failure to lodge on time (FTL) penalty (safe harbour)
    • Debit or nil balance enquiry
    • Fuel tax credit enquiry (not to be used for registration requests)
    • How do I complete my activity statement?
    • Payment arrangement request
    • Penalty or interest calculation
    • Refund for activity statement
    • Remission of failure to lodge on time penalty
    • Remission of general interest charge
    • Remission of non-electronic notification or non-electronic payment penalty
    • Status of business activity statement (BAS) refund (where >14 days since BAS was lodged)
    • Substantiation for activity statement refund
    • Wine equalisation tax enquiry (not to be used for registration requests)

     

    Debt and lodgment

    • Agent assessed deferral
    • ATO assessed deferral
    • Bulk client removal
    • Debit or nil balance query
    • Managed lodgment program
    • Payment arrangement request
    • Payment arrangement with supporting documents
    • Penalty or interest calculation
    • Remission of failure to lodge on time penalty
    • Remission of general interest charge
    • Supported lodgment program
    • Taxable payments annual report

     

    General questions, problems and help

    • Review of decision for deferrals from BAS agents
    • Single touch payroll bulk requests
    • Single touch payroll deferrals
    • Whole of practice transfer

     

    GST

    • Agent assessed deferral
    • Assistance to register or update GST details electronically
    • ATO assessed deferral
    • Charities, religious institutions, non-profit entities
    • Deferral of GST on importations (DGST)
    • Education courses
    • Export, import or online trading of goods and services
    • Financial supplies or Insurance
    • Food, entertainment and SAM (simplified accounting method)
    • Government grant or funding, taxes, fees, charges
    • GST accounting method or cycle change
    • GST at settlement
    • Health and medical product or service
    • How do I complete my activity statement?
    • Land or property transaction (including retirement villages)
    • Motor vehicles or luxury car tax
    • Other sales, purchases and tax invoice enquiry
    • Registrations update
    • Time limits on refunds or activity statement amendment

     

    Pay as you go (PAYG) instalments

    • Instalments – change instalment rate
    • Instalments – change PAYG instalment cycle
    • Instalments – explanation of instalment rate
    • Instalments – other instalment queries
    • Withholding – ATO cycle change letter received – request to remain on current cycle
    • Withholding – cycle change request – withholding amount less than $1 million
    • Withholding – cycle change request – withholding amount more than $1 million

     

    Refunds or remission

    • ATO pay interest on an early payment – request
    • Client overpayment or double payment
    • Financial hardship refunds
    • NRWT – custodials
    • Penalty or interest calculation
    • Refund tax withheld
    • Remission of failure to lodge on time penalty
    • Remission of general interest charge
    • Remission of non-electronic notification or non-electronic payment penalty
    • Returned refunds

     

    Registrations

    • Bank account details update request
    • If the online process for updating contact details has not met your requirements
    • If the online process for updating name and address details has not met your requirements
    • If the online process for updating other registration details has not met your requirements
    • WET, FTC, LCT registration

     

    Statement request / account details

    • Debit or nil balance enquiry
    • Payment arrangement request
    • Penalty or interest calculation
    • Remission of failure to lodge on time penalty
    • Remission of general interest charge

     

    Superannuation

    • Lodge SG statement

     

    Preferences

    The Communication preferences feature lets you and your clients choose where our digital communications are sent. It allows you to set a client's communication preferences to reflect their circumstances and your engagement with us.

    You should only set communication preferences for communication types a client has authorised you to act on. Before you set or update their communication preferences, ensure you have clear and express written authorisation from your client and their declaration that the information they provided to you to set or update their communication preferences is true and correct. For more information, see Client communication.

    You can choose to apply preferences to as many or as few clients as you wish. Communication preferences will not change activity statement lodgment channels or activity statement lodgment notifications.

    Before setting communication preferences, consider if its functionality will benefit your entire practice.

    You need to set default communication preferences before you can set any client preferences. This allows you to set, at the practice level, the default communication preferences (or favourites) that can be applied to your clients.

    Before setting communication preference you will need written authority from your client. For more information, see Client communication.

    To set the default preference for the practice at the agent home page:

    • select Communication then Preferences
    • select Practice or Client to determine who we should send communications to for each communication type
    • select Apply.

    Note: Setting a client’s communication preferences to Practice will designate Online services for agents as their preferred address for service for certain ATO communications.

    Communication preferences can then be set:

    • when you add a client
    • individually at their Profile
    • using the Bulk preferences function for up to 25 clients at a time.

    See Communication preferences to change individual settings.

    Bulk preferences

    To set up to 25 clients communication preferences:

    • select Communication then Bulk preferences
    • create a list of up to 25 clients
    • select Apply default communication preference or a combination of Practice or Client to determine who we send these clients' communications to for each communication type
    • select Submit.

    See also:

    Historical transactions

    In Historical transactions you can check the status of enquiries you've made with us for your client or your practice. These include:

    • Online services for agents                      
      • mail messages
      • online forms
      • refund requests
      • transfer requests
       
    • mail
    • phone
    • fax.

    This function only shows a list of interactions and their status. You cannot view the content of the message. If you no longer have the content for a specific interaction, contact us with the receipt number.

    Interactions remain viewable for three months after the completion date.

    To view interactions for your practice, at the agent home page select Communication then Historical transactions

    To view interactions for a client see Historical transactions – client summary.

    Find out about:

      Last modified: 13 Jul 2021QC 54079