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  • What you can do to meet the performance requirement

    To help you meet the 85% on-time lodgment requirement, it is important that you 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 request a report of your list of clients using the Tax Agent Portal, or your business management software that uses the practitioner lodgment service (PLS) or electronic lodgment service (ELS). The client reports produced by the Tax Agent Portal, PLS and ELS 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 – see Adding and removing a client.

    Before removing a client, update their contact details with their most recent address and phone number. Updating their contact details with their most recent address and phone number 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 make contact with 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 2018–19, we will only measure 2017–18 income year tax returns.


    Registered Agent A has a client with overdue prior year tax returns for the 2010–11 and 2012–13 financial years.

    When calculating Agent A’s on-time lodgment program performance percentage for the Lodgment program 2017–18, the client’s:

    • 2017 tax return will be included
    • overdue 2011 tax return and 2013 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 through PLS, ELS, or the Tax Agent Portal. 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 the portal.

    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 date.

    You can request a lodgment deferral for the current year income tax return due on 31 October, 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) 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 further return not necessary (FRNN), a lodgment will not be expected for your client this year or in the future. Lodging an FRNN or notifying us that a return is a final return for your client does not remove the client link in ATO systems.

    You are able to remove former clients from your client list using PLS, the Tax Agent Portal or ELS.

    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 portal mail to ensure your performance measurement is accurate.

    See also:

    Last modified: 02 Jul 2018QC 34531