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  • Tax Time update - 6 August 2019

    Lodgment stats as of 30 July 2019

    Lodgments by type and channel


    Type and channel

    Year to date total returns received (all years)

    Current year returns received

    Comparison - Current year returns received as at 30th July 2019






    19% increase






    15% increase






    34% increase

    Tax Practitioner


    Practitioner Lodgment Service (PLS)



    6% increase

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

    Single touch payroll as at 07/08/2019:

    - 17m total records are now finalised (98%) and available in pre-fill

    - 10.82m finalised Single Touch Payroll records (97%) available in pre-fill and approximately 325,000 to be finalised

    - 6.54m finalised PSAR lodgments available in pre-fill

    End of public beta for Online services for agents

    The ATO plans to end the tax agent public beta for Online services for agents on 17 August 2019. This follows the end to the BAS agent public beta in May this year. We have seen strong user uptake from BAS agents since ending their beta and a steady increase in tax agent usage as well. Direct feedback from users has reduced significantly and there are not a lot of suggestions for improvements coming through. We have made a number of changes to the system during the public beta phase and we will continue to make refinements into the future. The tax and BAS agent portals will continue to remain available in the short term but we will consider potential dates for decommissioning following the end of the public beta.

    We also note a recent change to the prefill service within Online services for agents that may be of interest to you and your members. A recent system update now enables you to view or download pre-fill reports for up to five clients at a time in Reports and forms. Select the report format, either view in a browser or download in XML, CSV or HTML. Then add each client using their identifier or name. Predictive search will be used if you type more than three characters.

    This latest system update addresses one of the most common items of feedback received throughout the private and public beta and combines the predictive name search functionality with a feature to run multiple prefill reports at once. Key changes to Online services for agents are outlined on our website.

    In the coming days we will issue to you via email a copy of the new login screen that agents will see once we end the public beta as well as some key messages for you to share with your members.

    Private health insurance in the pre-fill report

    Agents should use the pre-fill report to determine the number of days their client had private patient hospital cover. If the information is not available in pre-fill by 20 July 2019, your client(s) may need to request a statement from their health insurance provider.

    The prefill issue in relation to ‘1999’ year appearing has been resolved by way of a technical fix. Agents should no longer be experiencing this issue.

    See also:

    • Private health insurance information in the pre-fill report 

    Quoting TFN's on childrens bank accounts

    When parents open back accounts on behalf of their children they may not clearly understand the legal requirements around who is required to declare the interest income.  This is where the professional guidance of tax agents is invaluable, for this type of issue, a tax agent would need to discuss with the client and ascertain who provides the money and decides how it is spent and advise their client accordingly.

    Depending on the answers to the above questions, the parents TFN may or may not be required to be reported to the bank.

    If the parent opens the account, deposits the money and has control of the funds (i.e. has use of the funds and/or decides how the funds will be used) then the parent needs to declare interest on their tax return.

    Where a formal trust exists for the account, the trust TFN should be quoted to the bank including advising the account is for a trust, otherwise if the parents TFN is quoted instead then we will match to the parent.

    If the parent’s TFN is incorrectly recorded against the bank account, the client needs to contact the bank to either have their TFN removed and/or apply for a TFN for the child to report to the bank or if a formal trust has been set up quote the trust TFN.

    See also:

    Next meeting

    Members agreed that the frequency of this meeting can change from weekly to fortnightly.

    The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 20 August 2019 commencing at 11.00am (AEST).

    Last modified: 08 Aug 2019QC 59851