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  • Managing electronic activity statements and instalment notices

    Find out about managing electronic activity statements and instalment notices and why you may no longer receive paper activity statements by post.

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    End of paper activity statements

    We no longer issue paper activity statements after electronic lodgment.

    Electronic activity statements will be available instead of paper ones. They are available one week after the activity statement is generated.

    You can lodge electronically through either:

    • Online services for agents
    • practitioner lodgment service (PLS)-enabled software
    • myGov – when a client links their account to the ATO.

    You can access electronic activity statements through your PLS software or Online services for agents In Online services for agents you will find the information at the Client summary screen or Lodgment menu.

    You or your client may receive one last paper activity statement if the first electronic lodgment is after the activity statement generate date. If this happens, you should continue to lodge electronically.

    We will make exceptions and continue to send paper activity statements only in a few circumstances.

    Interim solution for quarterly PAYG and GST instalment notices

    We stopped sending paper pay as you go (PAYG) and goods and services (GST) quarterly instalment notices (forms R, S & T) for clients with a digital preference on our systems, in 2020. However, we were told this was a concern for some people.

    As an interim solution, we will continue to issue paper PAYG and GST quarterly instalment notices, beginning with the March 2021 quarterly notices. This will continue until we develop a longer-term solution.

    This means that agents can expect to receive paper forms from the March 2021 quarter onwards for clients who are registered to have notices issued to their agent. If you received a paper instalment notice in your mail pack for a client in the September 2020 quarter, you will receive the paper form for the March 2021 quarter. This is unless the client's registration details have since changed.

    If you have a client with a current paper preference and an instalment notice is lodged or varied digitally, we will no longer send paper forms. These clients will not be included in the interim measure.

    This interim solution does not extend to self-preparers. Self-preparers will continue to receive an email reminder 21 days before the due date, where we have an email address for them. If your email is listed on the client's account, we will not send a reminder. For self-preparer clients who have had a delivery preference changed to digital and do not have access to online services, we will update their preference to paper on request.

    We will continue to develop digital solutions for PAYG and GST instalment notices that work for you and your clients.

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    Form types R, S and T

    The following forms are available through Online services for agents and PLS-enabled software:

    • R (quarterly PAYG instalment notice)
    • S (quarterly GST instalment notice)
    • T (quarterly GST and PAYG instalment notice).

    Form types RS and T are linked to a preference to pay quarterly instalments. Lodgment is only required when the client is varying the instalment amount.

    If your client's registered delivery preference is paper, we will continue to send paper instalment notices. We don't change their delivery preferences from paper to electronic unless you have lodged electronically.

    If you would like us to generate a report of all your clients and their current delivery preferences, you can phone our registered agent phone line on 13 72 86.

    For more information on advanced search, see our Online services for agents user guide – Advanced search.

    One-off electronic lodgments, revisions and variations

    If you lodge, revise or vary a single activity statement electronically, this will change how we issue future activity statements and instalment notices. You and your client need to consider the following when deciding how to lodge or vary a statement or instalment notice:

    • If you lodge a quarterly activity statement electronically for your client and they lodge their own monthly activity statement by paper, paper activity statements will stop.
    • If you lodge a one-off electronic revision for a client and they lodge their own activity statement by paper, paper activity statements will stop.
    • If you lodge or vary an instalment amount online for a client and they normally receive paper instalment notices, paper instalment notices will stop.

    If your client can't transition to electronic self-lodgment, you or your client will need to contact us to revert their preference to paper.

    myGov users – end of paper

    If you have a delivery preference for your individual and sole trader clients, and they have linked their myGov account to the ATO, we will no longer send you paper activity statements.

    Your clients can access their activity statements and instalment notices using myGov. They will receive a notification in their myGov Inbox when their activity statement is ready.

    You can view this notification in Communication history in Online services for agents.

    You can still lodge, vary and revise on your client's behalf through your preferred electronic channel.

    For more information see ATO and the myGov Inbox.

    Activity statement lodgment notifications

    If your client lodges their own activity statements, we can send them an email reminder 21 days before the due date.

    To enable your client to receive notifications complete the following steps in Online services for agents:

    • Select a client.
    • Select Profile then Communication preferences.
    • Under Activity statement lodgment notifications, select Client.
    • Ensure your client's email address is correct. To check, select the emails hyperlink under the Activity statement lodgment notifications heading.

    Note: You can also update your client's email address by going to Profile then Email addresses – see Email addresses – Online services for agents.

    We no longer issue notifications to agents. However, you can generate on demand reports through Online services for agents and PLS to see a current list of your clients with activity statements and their due dates. These reports will be available after the activity statement generate date.

    For more information see Activity statement generate dates.

    Lodgment obligation reminders

    Your clients are obligated to understand their lodgment and payment due dates.

    Paper activity statements and instalment notices should not be used as reminders to prepare, lodge and pay, or as a prompt for clients to make an appointment with you.

    Reports are available to show the status of your clients' lodgments:

    • You can access the Outstanding activity statement report through Online services for agents.         
      • This report lists all outstanding activity statements for your clients for the current financial year and the previous three years, where you are linked to the client's activity statement account.
    • You can access the Activity statement lodgment report (ASLRPT) through the practitioner lodgment services.        
      • This report provides a list of activity statements that have not been lodged.
      • This report also allows you to filter by form type.

    Here are some other ways you can create reminders about due dates:

    • Check Online services for agents – the client summary page has a 'for action' summary of your client's lodgment and payment obligations.
    • Generate dates and lodgment due dates – refer to activity statement generate dates and the lodgment and payment due dates to set up your own reminders.
    • Create calendar events with your smartphone, tablet, email or other software. You can do this through Key dates on the ATO app.
    • Create spreadsheets with details of your clients' activity statement lodgment and payment due dates.

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      Last modified: 21 Jul 2021QC 39708