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  • Practitioner Lodgment Service prior-year service

    You can lodge most prior year returns and forms using the Practitioner Lodgment Service (PLS). Depending on your software, you may require a prior year service registration number to complete the lodgment.

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    Changes to the PLS prior year service from 6 December 2021

    The PLS prior year service is being updated. From 6 December there may be changes to how you lodge your clients' prior year returns. Generally, this impacts the 2016 tax year and earlier and forms through this service.

    The timing of these changes depends on which software you use. However, from 31 January 2022, all software should have transitioned over to the new service.

    You may need to refer to your software supporting documentation or your digital software provider to determine:

    • the prior year returns that can be lodged using your software
    • if you require a prior year service registration number to complete the lodgment
    • if your SBR-enabled software has transitioned to the new service.

    For help using the PLS, see PLS user guide.

    How to register for the current service

    Most tax agents already access this service from their previous Electronic Lodgment Service (ELS) registration number.

    The PLS prior year service uses the same ELS registration number, which needs to be retained to access prior year returns.

    Where a prior year service registration number is required to use the PLS prior year service you will need to contact the ATO.

    If you've applied for a new agent registration with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB), you may need to wait up to 21 days after receiving your official registered agent number before registering for the PLS prior year service. This allows us to complete the required system checks with the TPB.

    To register for the PLS prior year service, send an email to

    Subject: PLS prior year service enrolment

    Provide these details in the body of the email:

    • Registered Agent Number (RAN)
    • Practice name
    • Type of agent (individual, company or partnership)
    • Practice business address
    • Practice postal address
    • Authorised agent’s name
    • Preferred contact person
    • Contact phone number
    • Contact email address

    Your registration should take no more than 10 working days. If we anticipate delays to your registration or require further information, we will contact you within the 10 working days with a new anticipated timeframe for resolution.

    Once your registration has been finalised we will send you an Online Services for Agents Practice mail message with your registration details.

    For help with set-up and use of your software package, contact your digital service provider.

    We recommend you use appropriate security procedures to protect your details.

    Using the new service

    You will no longer:

    • need to contact the ATO to obtain a prior year service registration number to use the PLS prior year lodgment service
    • receive an ELS validation/lodgment report or ELS transmission report after you lodge through the service.

    You will receive an ATO message receipt when the lodgment has been successfully sent.

    Your SBR-enabled software may provide you with:

    • a list of prior year lodgments
    • lodgment status for each prior year lodgment (Received/ Not Received/ Return Not Necessary).

    Prior to 31 January 2022, if your software does not have the functionality to generate a prior year lodgment list, you can check the lodgment status in Online Services for Agents.

    If you have received a message receipt, your lodgments are still not appearing in your lodgment report after 12 days, and we have not called you about your lodgments, contact the registered agent phone line on 13 72 86.

    To avoid duplicate lodgment and delayed processing, you should not attempt to relodge a return unless directed by us, even if the lodgment does not show up on your lodgment report.

    For help using the PLS, see PLS user guide.

      Last modified: 23 Dec 2021QC 60545