• Changes to managing electronic activity statements

    There have been changes to processes for managing electronic activity statements.

    Find out about:

    Paper statements will stop when you lodge electronically

    Once an activity statement is lodged through the portals, SBR, ECI, ELS or a client links their myGov account to the ATO, we no longer issue paper activity statements.

    However, several form types cannot currently be despatched electronically through these channels, and for these we will continue to send paper activity statements:

    • Q (Annual GST report)
    • R (Quarterly PAYG instalment notice)
    • S (Quarterly GST instalment notice)
    • T (Quarterly GST and PAYG instalment notice).

    Form types R, S and T are available through the portals, SBR, ELS and on myGov, but not through ECI. These form types are linked to an election to pay quarterly instalments, and lodgment is only required when the client is varying the instalment amount.

    Example 1: Relevance of the lodgment date for a monthly lodger

    On 3 July, Eric lodges his monthly activity statement through the portal (which is before the July activity statement generate date of 15 July). We will not send the July activity statement and all future activity statements as paper – instead Eric will access them electronically.

    However, if Eric had lodged the activity statement on 17 July (after 15 July), the July monthly activity statement will still issue as paper.

    End of example

     

    Example 2: Relevance of the lodgment date for a quarterly lodger

    Maya lodges her quarterly activity statement through SBR on 13 September (which is before the September activity statement generate date of 14 September), so her September activity statement and all future activity statements will not be sent as paper – instead, she will access them electronically.

    However, if Maya lodged her September quarterly activity statement sometime after 14 September, the September quarterly activity statement will still issue as paper.

    End of example

    See also:

    Back to the list

    Activity statement availability

    Your first electronic lodgment will determine how your future activity statements will be made available. For tax agents, this is important if you use different lodgment methods for different clients in your practice.

    First lodgment by the ELS

    When your first electronic lodgment is by the electronic lodgment service (ELS), then the next activity statement will be delivered to your ELS mailbox. Activity statements delivered to your ELS mailbox will also be available in the portal.

    As this change will occur automatically, based on an ELS lodgment, you will not need to complete a Client update transaction to receive the activity statement through the ELS mailbox.

    The activity statements will be pre-populated with personalised information. You can expect to receive activity statements approximately seven days after the generate date.

    You will be able to lodge clients’ activity statements using ELS even if you have not received clients’ activity statements through the ELS mailbox. In order to do this you will need the document identification number (DIN) and pre-populated information which can be found in the portal.

    Activity statements are delivered to your primary gateway ELS mailbox, similar to how you receive other solicited and unsolicited reports.

    Representing clients: When you complete an activity statement on behalf of your client and lodge it by ELS, if the client is not already represented by a registered agent for activity statement purposes, your registered agent number (RAN) will be placed against the client's activity statement role, making you their representative.

    When an ELS lodgment will not stop the paper: If you lodge a client’s activity statement by ELS and the client has a different registered agent associated to their activity statement role the paper activity statement will continue to be sent.

    ELS mailbox: When the next activity statement is available, the client's pre-populated activity statement will be delivered to your ELS mailbox.

    See also:

    Back to the list

    Stopping paper activity statements for myGov users

    From August 2015, if you have a paper activity statement delivery preference for your individual and sole trader clients, and they have linked their myGov account to the ATO, then we will no longer send you a paper activity statement or instalment notice.

    Your clients can access their activity statements and instalment notices using myGov. Your clients will receive a notification to their myGov Inbox when their activity statement or instalment notice is ready.

    You can view this notification when searching the Client communication list in the Tax and BAS Agent Portals.

    You can still lodge, vary and revise on your clients’ behalf through your preferred electronic channel.

    Example: Individual with a myGov account linked to the ATO

    On 13 September, Maria has a paper activity statement delivery preference and then links her myGov account to the ATO (before the September activity statement generate date of 14 September). Her September activity statement and all future activity statements will not be sent as paper, instead she will access them electronically.

    Maria's registered agent can continue to lodge activity statements on her behalf through their preferred electronic channel.

    End of example

    See also:

    Back to the list

    First lodgment by portal, SBR or ECI

    When the first electronic lodgment is by the portal, SBR or ECI, then the next activity statement will be available in any of these channels. For example, as you use your own AUSkey for each of these channels, you can lodge using the portal and then collect your next activity statement using SBR-enabled software or ECI.

    You can expect to receive activity statements approximately seven days after the generate date.

    See also:

    Back to the list

    One-off lodgments and electronic revisions

    One-off lodgments: A single electronic lodgment through the portals, SBR, ECI or ELS will result in a change to how the next activity statement is issued. You and your clients will need to consider this when deciding how to lodge the activity statement.

    For example, if an electronic lodgment method such as the portals, SBR, ECI or ELS is used in order to receive the benefits of electronic lodgment concessions, then either you or your client will be required to take steps to reinstate paper activity statements if the client cannot transition to electronic self-lodgment. If you used the:

    • portal, SBR or ECI to lodge the activity statement, either you or your client will need to contact us about our online services to ask that the paper activity statement be turned back on
    • ELS to lodge the activity statement, the client’s activity statement delivery preference can be changed back to paper by any of the following methods    
      • using the ‘Your clients’ menu in the Tax Agent Portal
      • completing the ELS Client update transaction
      • contacting ATO Online services for business to request that the paper activity statement be turned back on.

    Electronic revisions: An electronic lodgment of a revision through the portals, SBR, ECI or ELS by a registered agent will no longer change how the next activity statement is issued.

    If a client who normally lodges by paper has their registered agent lodge a revision electronically on their behalf, this electronic revision will not stop the client from receiving paper activity statements.

    Back to the list

    Activity statement notification

    ELS users: When the first electronic lodgment is by ELS, you will not receive a separate notification advising that the activity statement is available. The client's pre-populated activity statement will be delivered to your ELS mailbox.

    You can expect to receive activity statements approximately seven days after the generate date.

    Portal, SBR or ECI: When the first electronic lodgment is by the portals, SBR or ECI, and we have a valid email address recorded against your client's activity statement role, we will send an email to the nominated address advising that the next activity statement is available online.

    The notification email will issue approximately seven days after the activity statement generate date.

    The email address can be yours or your client's. If the email address is not recorded or is incorrect, we will not send an email notification.

    If you have your email address recorded against multiple clients, we will only send one email that lists the clients associated with your email address.

    The email notification includes the entity name in addition to the ABN. We ask that you talk to your client about their preferred email address for activity statement notification. If the preferred address belongs to your client, keep a record of it for when you next lodge their activity statement.

    See also:

    To view and update your clients' email addresses:

    Back to the list

    Remember your obligations

    Business clients have an obligation to understand their lodgment and payment due dates.

    Electronic lodgment concessions apply for registered agents and clients.

    Paper activity statements are used by some agents as a reminder to prepare, lodge and pay, or as a prompt for clients to make an appointment with you.

    The following reminders can help you adjust to working without paper activity statements and assist with moving to online interactions:

    • Generate due dates and lodgment due dates. Access the activity statement generate dates and lodgment due dates and refer to these in your business process. You can do this through 'Key dates' on the ATO app.
    • Create calendar events with your smartphone, device, email program or other software to set up reminders for activity statement due dates for lodgment and payment.
    • Create spread sheets with dates for your clients' activity statement lodgment and payment due dates.
    • Financial institution statements: Use the receipt of statements from your financial institution to help you plan when activity statements are due.
    • Talk to your peers within your field, and develop a similar work practice.
    • Educate your clients to provide activity statement details to you electronically.
    • Encourage your clients to use, for example, bookkeeping software, USB sticks and portable drives, reports from software packages, secure cloud solutions, email.

    Back to the list

    Managing your clients' obligations

    ELS: If you are using the ELS, there are a number of reports that can be used to help you manage your client’s obligations.

    See also:

    Portal: If you are using the portal, you can download the Outstanding activity statement report. This report lists all unlodged activity statements for your clients for the current financial year and the previous three years.

    See also:

    Back to the list

    Electronic client declarations

    Your client can chose to provide a declaration electronically, by email or fax. However, there are some important requirements you will need to meet.

    See also:

    Back to the list

    Making payments

    BPAY® or credit card are the quickest and easiest ways to make a payment. To pay by these methods, you will need a payment reference number (PRN)/EFT code for your client's activity statement role.

    You can get this number from the Tax Agent Portal or BAS Agent Portal.

    Because the PRN for activity statements remains the same for each reporting period – and our details don’t change – a client needs to set up for internet banking payments only once. After they've paid an activity statement obligation for the first time, they can use the same details for future payments.

    If your clients need a payment slip to make a payment at Australia Post or by cheque at the ATO, they can be downloaded from the Tax Agent Portal or BAS Agent Portal. A portal-generated payment slip can be saved and emailed to your client.

    ® Registered to BPAY Pty Ltd ABN 69 079 137 518

    See also:

    Back to the list

    Last modified: 24 Aug 2016QC 39708