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  • Tax Time update – 15 October 2019

    The Tax Practitioner Stewardship Group (TPSG) Tax Time meeting was held on Tuesday 15 October 2019. The following topics were discussed and will assist professional associations to communicate key messages to their members and tax practitioners.

    Lodgment statistics as at 15 October 2019

    Type and channel

    Year to date total returns received (all years)

    Current year returns received

    Comparison – Current year returns received as at 15/10/2019

    Individual – electronic

    9,885,921

    8,832,902

    11% increase

    Non-individual – electronic

    708,434

    437,183

    8% increase

    Self-preparer – myTax

    4,012,949

    3,660,641

    24% increase

    Tax practitioner – practitioner lodgment service (PLS)

    6,386,214

    5,525,452

    4% increase

    Note: Paper statistics have been removed from this table as lodgments via paper are still working through our systems and being keyed.

    As at 15 October 2019 we received over 4.2 million phone calls, which is a 35% increase in comparison to the same time last year.

    Single touch payroll:

    • The total number of finalised and un-finalised STP records in pre-fill is 10.84 million. 98.5% of these are finalised.
    • In addition there have been 8.137 million PSARs lodged.
    • 99.1% of overall records (STP and PSAR) in pre-fill are finalised data.

    Single Touch Payroll client lists

    The bulk e-mail correspondence has been arranged to assist you and your colleagues. We understand which clients have transitioned to STP reporting as at 1 October 2019 and which require more support to get started.

    We propose sending an email to the registered agents for each branch who have a registered agent number (RAN). The email will contain an excel attachment with a list of clients who have evidence of employing staff as well as their STP reporting status as at 1 October 2019.

    If you or any of your branches do not receive a copy of your performance report, please tell us as soon as possible so that we can follow up on that.

    The evidence of employment of staff is where both the client’s Australian Business Number (ABN) and pay-as-you-go (PAYG) withholding role are active, and:

    • they’ve lodged payment summaries in the last two years, or
    • there is subsequent evidence of employment activity – for example, their activity statement includes amounts at W labels or a tax file number (TFN) declaration has been lodged.

    The client list also provides information about their client’s STP status including:

    • whether your clients have started reporting
    • if clients have sought a reporting concession, transitional, recurring or operational deferral or exemption
    • if there is no requirement to report as advised due to no withholding obligations for a portion of the year.

    See also:

    • There is support available for employers transitioning to STP reporting, especially those who are not currently using software. For further information visit Single Touch Payroll on our website.

    MyGovID and RAM

    One of the key pillars of trust and confidence in the tax and superannuation systems is our ability to manage and secure the data we hold. The nature and scale of the data the ATO holds is increasing significantly and we are instituting a more secure way to authenticate the identity of individuals accessing data. This is so we know who is accessing our systems, what they are accessing and that they are authorised correctly to do so.

    This is why we are moving away from AUSkey to a new digital identity product – myGovID. The new solution, which incorporates both myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM), is being progressively implemented and will replace AUSkey at the end of March 2020.

    To help ensure a smooth transition to myGovID and RAM, there are some things that you should be doing in your practice now. In particular, you should ensure:

    • associates listed in the Australian Business Register (ABR) are up to date
    • the details of AUSkey holders listed in AUSkey manager are correct
    • permissions assigned to each AUSkey in Access Manager are correct.

    These updates will help ensure the migration of information from AUSkey to RAM is fast and easy. It will mean the correct information will be transferred to each user’s myGovID when using the Import AUSkey users function. This function, while not compulsory, allows you to bulk transfer the permissions (granted in Access Manager) and preferences of existing AUSkey users associated with your practice.

    In the coming weeks we’ll provide further information to the TPSG to support the transition and we will advise when agents will be able to start using myGovID to access Online services for agents.

    Annual closure

    Over the next six months we will be undertaking a number of internal system changes that will provide us with a foundation for future service enhancements.

    At the end of the year, a number of our online services will be unavailable from 8.00pm Tuesday 24 December to 11.30pm Wednesday 1 January AEDT. Our offices will also close from 11.00pm Thursday 9 April 2020 to 7.00am Tuesday 14 April 2020 AEDT. We recommend you plan ahead to minimise any impacts on your work processes.

    We’ll provide more information over the coming months about the upgrade periods and details to help you prepare.

    Tips and links

    You can request additional time to lodge your client's overdue tax returns if you take on new clients, or re-engage previous clients. Find out how at Extra time for new clients.

    Next meeting

    The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 29 October 2019 commencing at 11.00am (AEDT). This will be the last meeting occurrence for the 2019 series.

    Last modified: 25 Oct 2019QC 60475