Managing activity statements – ELS
We provide a number of functions to help you manage your clients' activity statements using the electronic lodgment service (ELS).
Find out about:
Representing a client
When you complete an activity statement on behalf of your client and lodge it by the ELS, if the client is not already represented by a registered agent for activity statement purposes, your registered agent number (RAN) will be placed against the client's activity statement role, making you their representative.
You can also use the client update (CU) transaction to nominate yourself as your client's representative for activity statement purposes.
A CU transaction allows you to (for activity statement purposes):
- appoint yourself as your client's representative
- delete yourself as your client's representative
- change your client's postal address for service of paper activity statements
- request to receive your client's activity statements by the ELS
- request to stop receiving your client's activity statements by the ELS.
Add or update a client
To complete the CU transaction you need to answer the following questions:
- Are you adding a client for activity statement purposes?
- Answer yes if the taxpayer is not on the client list.
- Are you modifying client details for activity statement purposes?
- Answer yes when the taxpayer is on the client list.
Answering these incorrectly may delay processing.
Changing client registration details
You can use Change of registration details (NAT 2943) to update client details, including:
- entity name or trading name
- trustee or public officer
- main business activity
- postal, email or business address
- authorised contact person
- financial institution account.
Ceasing to be a client's representative
You can use the CU transaction to cease being your client's representative.
To stop receiving any unwanted mail on behalf of a client, include their last known address at the same time.
Receiving clients' activity statements
For paper generated activity statements, once you start to lodge your clients' activity statements by the ELS you may automatically start receiving future activity statements by the ELS.
You can also elect to receive your clients' activity statements by the ELS by lodging a CU transaction by the ELS.
Requesting activity statements
You can complete a request to receive a client's activity statements using the ELS before lodging an activity statement by this channel.
If the client is already on your client list for activity statement purposes, then they are an existing client. If not, you will need to add a new client.
You cannot elect to receive activity statements by the ELS and another channel at the same time.
If an online channel (other than ELS) is used to receive activity statements and paper is not also being received, then you will need to contact us if you want to change the delivery method for that client.
End of example
The client's postal address recorded on our systems should be the postal address preferred by your client. If you are using interaction management correspondence preference, this should be a direct-to-client postal address – not care of yourself.
When you won't receive activity statements via ELS
There are some scenarios when you will not receive activity statements via ELS.
If you prepare tax returns activity statements and forward them to another registered tax agent for transmission to the ELS, you can't receive or request activity statements through the ELS.
Specific form types
The following form types cannot be received via ELS however they can be lodged via ELS.
Quarterly PAYG instalment notice
GST instalment amount only
GST and PAYG instalment amount
Form types R, S and T are linked to an election to pay quarterly instalments, and lodgment is only required where the client is varying the instalment amount.
The following form type cannot be received or lodged via ELS.
Annual GST return 2001
Another agent represents client
If another agent represents your client for activity statement purposes you will not receive their activity statements via ELS.
Not using primary gateway
Only your primary gateway can be used to request and receive activity statements.
Collecting activity statements
Activity statements will be automatically sent to your ELS mailbox when they are generated.
ELS primary transmitter number
If your practice operates with multiple ELS approval numbers, and each approval number is used to send returns with the one registered agent number, activity statements can only be transmitted to one of these approval numbers.
You can change the primary transmitter number using the Report request (RR) form. This request can only be made from the current primary transmitter number.
Ensure activity statements are collected
We will clear your ELS mailbox 16 days after activity statements are sent to you.
Any activity statements not collected within that time will be moved from the ELS mailbox over to the 'Old reports' facility for a short time.
Contact your software provider for instructions on how to retrieve reports from the 'Old reports' or 'Old mailbox' facility.
Downloading and saving activity statements
When connected to the ELS, we will ask you to receive all outstanding reports before making any transmissions.
There will be two files of activity statements:
- RPTABnnn for business activity statements (BAS)
- RPTAInnn for instalment activity statements (IAS)
'nnn' is the Julian date the file was generated.
RPTAI036 is the file generated on the 36th day of the calendar year -
End of example
After you have downloaded the activity statements, the data (for example the document identification number (DIN) and other pre-populated information) will be available on your computer. If you have difficulty viewing or lodging activity statements, you should contact your ELS software provider for instructions.
Missing activity statements
If you have inadvertently deleted an activity statement, you can retrieve or recreate the information by doing one of the following.
- Check your ‘Old mailbox’ and download the report containing activity statements delivered via ELS, if it is still available.
- Use the Activity statement summary report which lists all the pre-printed activity statement details for your paper and ELS clients, including the unique document identification number (DIN).
- Use the Tax Agent Portal to lodge the activity statement or to retrieve the required pre-populated information.
- Phone us and request a replacement activity statement, which may take up to two weeks to reach you by post.
When you want to stop receiving activity statements by the ELS
The CU transaction must be lodged to stop receiving your client's activity statement by the ELS when:
- you no longer represent them for activity statement purposes
- they want to lodge the activity statement themselves through the Business Portal, SBR, ECI or by paper
- you want to lodge their activity statements using the Tax Agent Portal or SBR enabled software instead of the ELS.
Lodging clients' activity statements
You can lodge activity statements using the ELS for:
- clients you receive activity statements for by your ELS mailbox
- clients who receive a paper activity statement.
You do not need to represent a taxpayer in order to lodge their activity statement.
However if you lodge their activity statement using ELS, if the client is not already represented by a registered agent for activity statement purposes your TAN will be placed against the client's activity statement role, making you their representative.
Activity statement reports
There are three ELS reports that can help you manage your clients' activity statement needs. They are:
Activity statement client list
The Activity statement client list identifies all clients you represent for activity statement purposes and includes:
- Australian business number (ABN), when applicable
- client account number (CAN), which follows the ABN
- tax file number (TFN)
- trust trailer, which follows the TFN
- client name – the trading or legal name that appears on the activity statements
- postal address for activity-statement-related correspondence
- GST indicator (Y – yes and N – no), which shows if goods and services tax (GST) is applicable
- receipt method, which shows how your clients' activity statement will be received
- I for internet, including Tax Agent, BAS Agent or Business Portal, SBR or the ECI
- P for paper, which also means it will be sent to the postal address shown
- E for ELS.
Request the Activity statement client list report
Each time you want an Activity statement client list report, you need to request it using an RR form. You should receive the report in your ELS mailbox within two working days.
Activity statement summary report
The monthly Activity statement summary report lists all activity statements issued to your clients.
The report shows:
- your client's name and ABN or TFN
- the unique document identification number (DIN)
- the type of activity statement
- the period of the activity statement
- lodgment and payment due dates
- pre-populated information for GST, pay as you go (PAYG), fringe benefits tax (FBT) instalments and deferred company instalments.
You don't need to contact us for a replacement activity statement. All of your client's pre-populated activity statement details are on this report, including the DIN.
Request the Activity statement summary report
To request the ELS report, Activity statement summary report, you need to send the RR form to confirm (once only) the report is needed. You will automatically receive the report from us when it is available.
Activity statement lodgment report
The monthly Activity statement lodgment report shows if clients have lodged (or not lodged) their activity statements for the previous six months.
The report shows:
- your client's name and ABN or TFN
- the frequency that activity statements are issued
- the lodgment status for all activity statements issued for the previous six months.
Request the Activity statement lodgment report
To request the ELS report, Activity statement lodgment report, you need to send an RR form (once only) to confirm the report is needed. You will automatically receive the report from us when it is available.
We provide a number of functions to help you manage your clients' activity statements using the electronic lodgment service (ELS). These include nominating yourself to represent a client for activity statement purposes, receiving clients' activity statements, lodging clients' activity statements and obtaining activity statement reports