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  • Substituted accounting periods

    The lodgment due date for a taxpayer with a substituted accounting period (SAP) depends on the type of entity and the closing date of the adopted accounting period.

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    How a SAP works

    Taxpayers who have been granted leave to adopt a SAP must meet the following lodgment requirements for:

    • individuals, partnerships and trusts – due date for lodgment is the last day of the fourth month after the close of the accounting period
    • companies and superannuation funds (excluding Not full self-assessment taxpayers (NFSA)) – due date for payment is the first day of the sixth month after the close of the accounting period
    • companies and super funds (excluding NFSA) – due date for lodgment is the 15th day of the seventh month after the close of the accounting period.

    The lodgment concession available to SAPs does not apply where the SAP entity is not a full self-assessment taxpayer.

    Agent assessed deferral requests can now be made for individual, partnership and trust SAPs. Companies and super funds should use the ATO assessed deferral request form.

    You can identify clients operating under approved SAP on income tax client listings from the codes shown in the SAP column.

    Table: Codes shown in the SAP column converted to balance dates

    SAP code

    Approved balance date

    Term used in lodgment program


    31 Dec 2020

    Early December balancer

    Note: For information about the availability of a lodgment concession to 31 July, see early December balancing company and super fund clients.


    31 Jan 2021

    January balancer


    28 Feb 2021

    February balancer


    31 Mar 2021

    March balancer


    30 Apr 2021

    April balancer


    31 May 2021

    May balancer


    31 July 2021

    July balancer


    31 Aug 021

    August balancer


    30 Sep 2021

    September balancer


    31 Oct 2021

    October balancer


    30 Nov 2021

    November balancer


    31 Dec 2021

    Late December balancer

    Note: you can no longer request a late December balance date

    Regardless of the actual date the entity balances, it is deemed to have a financial year ending on the last day of the relevant month.

    Concession for an early December balancing company and super fund client

    A lodgment concession is available to 31 July for early balancing December SAP clients if they lodge electronically. A full self-assessment company or super fund that is an early December balancer must lodge a tax return no later than the 15th day of the seventh month after the end of their year of income. The due date for lodgment for these entities is 15 July.

    However, we will grant a lodgment concession to 31 July if you lodge your client’s tax return electronically by 31 July. We have granted this concession in response to feedback from tax practitioners that tax time software availability makes it difficult to meet the lodgment due date of 15 July. This is particularly the case if firms create their own software.

    This is a lodgment concession only. Payment, if required, is still due on the first day of the sixth month after their year of income, which is 1 June. We will not apply a failure to lodge (FTL) penalty to early December balancing SAP clients when their tax return is lodged by 31 July.

    What tax return form to use

    Tax returns for taxpayers using a SAP should be made on the tax return form for the year in lieu of which the accounting period has been adopted. For example, you should prepare an early balancing 2021 tax return on the 2021 tax return form.

    While we make every effort to release tax time stationery as early as possible, if the relevant form has not been produced by the date the taxpayer wishes to lodge, they must use the 2020 tax return form. In these cases, whether lodging electronically or by paper, you must both:

    • enter the year of income that the SAP replaces on page one of the tax return – failure to do so may result in us rejecting the lodged tax return
    • provide us with the information requested under any new labels on the 2021 tax return form – you must do this shortly after we release the 2021 form.
    Last modified: 16 Dec 2021QC 34569