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  • Entities not covered by the program

    Your clients cannot be covered by your lodgment program until they have been allocated a registration number appropriate to the document to be lodged.

    For tax returns, the registration number is a tax file number (TFN)

    For activity statements, the registration number is either:

    • an Australian business number (ABN)
    • a TFN if an ABN is not applicable.

    You need authority to act

    Your clients cannot be covered by your lodgment program until they have appointed you as their registered agent.

    You can notify us of your authority to act on their behalf using either:

    • practitioner lodgment service (PLS) client update transaction
    • Add client function in either the Tax Agent Portal or the BAS Agent Portal
    • electronic lodgment service (ELS) client update (CU) transaction.

    Our current systems do not allow more than one agent to be appointed to the activity statement role for a client, so keep this in mind if your client has a tax agent and a BAS agent to prepare their documents. In these cases, you should make sure your client has provided you the authority to act for them in relation to that particular obligation.

    If you are a BAS agent acting for a client on the activity statement role, and you do not receive the latest activity statement, another agent may have been added to that role. To obtain the latest activity statement, visit the BAS Agent Portal and add the client to your client list. We acknowledge this may be an irritant; however, we are working towards a solution to be delivered in Online services for agents.

    Your authority to act on behalf of a new client for lodgment purposes only takes effect from when we receive it. To make sure any new clients are covered by your lodgment program for 2018–19, you must successfully lodge the authority with us by the dates in the following table.

    Table: Authority to act

    Type of authority to act

    Must be lodged with us by:

    Income tax

    31 October 2018

    If you accept a new client for income tax purposes after 31 October 2018, check the lodgment due date for the client on your client list from the 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 lodge by an earlier due date.


    21 May 2019

    Last modified: 02 Jul 2018QC 34571