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  • How lodgment deferrals work

    How to apply for a lodgment deferral if unforeseen events affect your client's ability to lodge on time.

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    When a lodgment deferral can help

    A lodgment deferral may help when exceptional and unforeseen circumstances may impact your ability to lodge by a due date on behalf of your clients.

    You can submit a deferral request by completing the current online application and lodging through Online services for agents.

    If your client is unable to pay on time, you may be able to set up a payment plan or apply for a payment-only deferral.

    Types of deferrals

    Lodgment deferrals extend the due date for lodgment of a document. They give extra time to lodge without incurring a failure to lodge on time (FTL) penalty.

    There are 3 types of lodgment deferrals:

    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.

    Eligibility for deferrals

    You can request a lodgment deferral for:

    • tax returns
    • fringe benefits tax returns
    • monthly and quarterly activity statements
    • 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.

    You should not request lodgment deferral requests for large withholder and large excise client activity statements through Online services for agents. Instead, contact our Large business support team to discuss your client's circumstances.

    Applying for deferrals

    We have instructions on how to apply for:

    We also have lodgment deferral tips to help us respond more quickly to your lodgment deferral request.

    Your request should be consistent with:

    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.

    Our decision

    We aim to process your request quickly. However, during peak lodgment periods it may take up to 28 days to finalise requests submitted through Online services for agents.

    Approved requests

    Eligible requests for deferral will be approved and processed.

    You will receive notification in Online services for agents. Your deferred due dates will show in:

    • Online services for agents
    • practitioner lodgment service (PLS) client report.

    However, if we don't have all the necessary information to process your request, we may contact you.

    Declined or varied requests

    If we decline or vary your request, you will receive notification in Online services for agents.

    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 on your deferral request, you can ask us to review a deferral decision.

    Last modified: 01 Jul 2022QC 34581