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  • How lodgment deferrals work

    Find out how we grant deferrals, which obligations are eligible and when you don't need to apply.

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    New lodgment deferral function


    The new lodgment deferral function in Online services for agents is here.

    What is a lodgment deferral?

    A lodgment deferral extends the due date for lodgment of a document. It gives extra time to lodge without incurring a failure to lodge on time (FTL) penalty.

    Exceptional or unforeseen circumstances

    Lodgment deferrals can help if there are exceptional or unforeseen circumstances which impact you or your client's ability to lodge on time.

    Your request should be consistent with PS LA 2011/15 Lodgment obligations, due dates and deferrals.

    We monitor lodgment performance and use of deferrals. We may contact agents who have higher levels of non-compliance or are high users of deferrals so we can understand the reasons for their requests.

    If your whole practice has been affected by unforeseen events and you need help to get your lodgment program back on track, you can request a Supported lodgment program.

    Eligible obligations

    You can request a lodgment deferral for the following obligations.

    Lodgment obligation

    Tax agents

    BAS agents

    Tax returns



    Fringe benefits tax returns



    Monthly and quarterly activity statements, but not:

    • quarterly PAYG and GST instalment notices form R, S and T
    • annual PAYG instalment notices form N



    Annual GST returns



    PAYG payment summary annual reports



    Taxable payments annual reports



    You cannot request a lodgment deferral for an activity statement before we have generated it and made it available online.

    When you don't need to apply

    You don't need to request a deferral if:

    • the lodgment or payment due date falls on a weekend or public holiday as you can lodge or pay on the next business day
    • the due date is 15 May for tax returns, as you already have an extension of time to lodge and pay to 5 June (a concessional due date in the lodgment program).
    • you are affected by a general or geographical issue (such as a natural disaster or widespread system outage) and we have informed you that you don't need to make your own deferral request.

    You can't request a deferral from the 5 June concessional lodgment date because it is not a due date under the lodgment program.

    How we decide

    We consider lodgment deferral requests in accordance with PS LA 2011/15 Lodgment obligations, due dates and deferrals.

    The PSLA sets out the following deferral types for registered agents:

    Agent assessed

    Your lodgment deferral request may be agent assessed if:

    • the request is for an existing client
    • it is the first deferral request for this obligation
    • it is no more than 3 business days after the original lodgment due date
    • you or your client need no more than the default timeframes.

    Agent assessed deferrals do not apply to tax returns for:

    • large and medium enterprises due 31 January
    • company and super fund substituted accounting period (SAP) clients.

    If your agent assessed deferral request is approved, the payment due date automatically extends to the deferred lodgment due date. This does not apply:

    • to FBT returns as the payment due date remains as
      • 25 June for returns lodged online
      • 21 May for returns lodged by paper
    • if the lodgment is for individual tax returns or trust returns as these have a payment due date 21 days after the issue of the notice of assessment.

    ATO assessed

    Your lodgment deferral request may be ATO assessed if:

    • you do not meet the agent assessed or new or re-engaged client deferral criteria
    • your request exceeds the agent assessed deferral timeframes
    • you submit the request after the lodgment due date
    • it's for a second or subsequent deferral request
    • your client has had a lodgment prosecution resulting in a revised lodgment date
    • there are exceptional or unforeseen circumstances that are outside your or your client's control, which require a full explanation.

    New or re-engaged clients

    Your lodgment deferral request may be new or re-engaged if you have existing clients or engage new clients (including previous clients) with overdue income tax returns.

    We can provide you with a deferral for your client's current year return. We will also consider delaying compliance action to secure lodgment of overdue prior year returns.

    The period of additional time allowed for both the deferral and the delaying of action on overdue prior year lodgments is 42 days (6 weeks) from the date of request.

    If your client has more years of overdue returns to lodge, remember that only the current year tax return is included in the lodgment program on-time performance measurement.

    Your on-time lodgment performance will only be affected if you lodge the current year return after the due date or deferred due date.

    Declined or varied requests

    We may decline your deferral request if:

    • the client has a record of late lodgments, including poor compliance with deferred due dates
    • we have started lodgment compliance action with your client
    • you are not listed on our systems as the authorised agent to act on the client's behalf
    • you request a deferral from the 5 June concessional lodgment date.

    Our large business specialists review and may decline lodgment deferral requests for significant global entities or large business entities. If so, they will notify you.

    If you are not happy with our decision, you can ask us to review a deferral decision.

    Last modified: 26 Apr 2023QC 34581