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  • What you can do to meet the performance requirement

    To help you meet the 85% on-time lodgment requirement, you should review and update your client list. You should also check whether new clients who were previously self-preparers have outstanding prior year tax returns.

    On this page:

    Update your client list

    All clients who are attached to your registered agent number will be included in your 85% on-time lodgment performance calculation. Updating your client list regularly will help your practice to manage client due dates and ensure that clients who no longer use your services are not included in your lodgment program performance calculation.

    You can obtain a list of your clients using Online services for agents or the practitioner lodgment service (PLS). The client lists produced by these online services may provide different views of your clients’ details.

    Download and check your relevant client list using:

    If you save your client list to Microsoft Excel, you can use the filter and sort functions to easily identify the clients you want to remove.

    You can delete clients from your client list at any time using our online systems or your practice software.

    Before removing a client, update their contact details with their most recent address and phone number. This ensures that you no longer receive communications on their behalf (if your practice was listed as the point of contact).

    It also helps us to contact your former client if they have any outstanding tax and super obligations and ensure fairness for taxpayers who do the right thing.

    Next steps:

    • To discuss any specific concerns phone us on 13 72 86 Fast Key Code 1 3 2, between 8.00am and 6.00pm AEST, Monday to Friday.

    Lodge overdue prior year tax returns

    We only look at the current year lodgment to determine the on-time performance percentage. Prior years do not form part of the calculation. For example, to calculate your on-time lodgment performance for the Lodgment program 202122, we will only measure 2020–21 income year tax returns.


    Registered Agent A has a client with overdue prior year tax returns for the 2014–15 and 2016–17 financial years.

    When calculating Agent A’s on-time lodgment program performance percentage for the Lodgment program 2020–21, the client’s:

    • 2020 tax return will be included
    • overdue 2015 tax return and 2017 tax return will not be included.
    End of example

    If you accept a new client for income tax purposes after 31 October, you should check the lodgment due date for the client on your client list. If the new client was previously a self-preparer, they will not be covered by your lodgment program and may need to have lodged by an earlier due date.

    You can check if your client has outstanding prior year tax returns using our online services or your practice software.

    See also:

    Deferrals for new or re-engaged clients with overdue returns

    If you engage new clients (or previous clients) with overdue prior year income tax returns, your on-time lodgment performance will only be affected if you lodge the current year’s return after the due date or deferred due date.

    You can request a lodgment deferral for the current year income tax return due on 31 October and suspension of compliance action on prior year returns, to give you time to prepare and lodge the overdue tax returns.

    Next steps:

    Notify us if a return is not necessary

    Clients attached to your registered agent number with an expected lodgment will be included in your on-time lodgment performance calculation.

    A return not necessary (RNN) or further return not necessary (FRNN), also known as a non-lodgment advice, lets us know that your client has no obligation to lodge a tax return for either a specified year, or in the future. You can lodge a RNN or FRNN for your client through Online services for agents or the practitioner lodgment service.

    A RNN advises us that a tax return is not required for one financial year only. If you submit a RNN for your client, their tax return will be expected to be lodged in future years. You should notify us of a RNN before the expected lodgment date.

    If you notify us of a FRNN, a lodgment will not be expected for your client this year or in the future. However, lodging a FRNN or notifying us that a return is a final return for your client does not remove the client link in ATO systems.

    You can remove former clients from your client list using your practice software or our online services.

    If you are submitting an FBT non-lodgment advice form, it may take us up to 28 days to process your request. Submit your form as early as possible using Practice mail to ensure your performance measurement is accurate.

    See also:

    Last modified: 01 Jul 2021QC 34531