Practitioner lodgment service – frequently asked questions

What is Standard Business Reporting?

Standard Business Reporting (SBR) is the format software providers will use in their practice management software packages. Your software will need to use SBR to send reports and data to us and, in the future, for interactions with other government agencies.

Back to top

What is the Practitioner lodgment service?

The Practitioner lodgment service (PLS) is replacing the Electronic lodgment service (ELS) as the primary lodgment channel. Lodgments made using PLS will need to be made with SBR-enabled software packages.

Back to top

Will the Tax Agent Portal be turned off?

No, we will continue to offer portal services.

We are consulting on how we provide services to tax professionals in the future, however there are no immediate plans to add any new functionality or services to the portals at this time.

Back to top

What will SBR-enabled software cost?

We are not able to comment on what software providers will charge for their software products.

For most practitioners, your current software provider will be upgrading your software to be SBR-enabled. Your software provider will have more information about whether there will be any additional costs associated with this upgrade.

However, the ability to lodge to multiple agencies through SBR-enabled software may provide some savings through:

  • a reduction in the amount of time spent reporting separately to different government agencies
  • the potential to simplify your software requirements to a single software package, rather than various products to support your clients.

Back to top

What support will be offered for PLS services?

You will receive the same support that you receive for ELS plus during the early stages of the transition period we are providing extra support to identify and fix any issues.

Back to top

When will SBR-enabled software be available?

SBR-enabled products are already available from software providers to prepare and lodge business activity statements.

Software providers are testing how the forms and services will work in their software. Some forms are already available to be lodged with SBR-enabled software through PLS.

Your software provider will let you know when they expect to make SBR-enabled software available to you, and if you need to take any additional steps before you start lodging through PLS.

As software providers products are certified, we will list them as available products at Link

Back to top

Will you be turning off ELS?

We are working with software developers to deliver the new Practitioner lodgment service as the primary and default lodgment channel for tax practitioners from Tax Time 2016.

To ensure that practitioners (on behalf of their individual and business clients) experience a successful Tax Time 2016 and have access to a reliable electronic lodgment service, ELS will remain available until 31 March 2017.

From 1 April 2017 all forms lodged electronically will need to be lodged through PLS with SBR-enabled software.

Back to top

What if my software provider does not offer SBR-enabled software by Tax Time 2016?

We are working with software providers and professional associations to ensure a smooth transition.

Your software provider will let you know when they expect to make this software available to you, and what you need to do to make the transition.

ELS will remain available until 31 March 2017, so your software provider will not need to have all tax practitioners lodging though PLS from 1 July 2016. Some software providers are planning to progressively transition their tax practitioners to PLS between July and December 2016.

Back to top

How can I lodge prior year returns when ELS is replaced by PLS?

SBR-enabled software will enable you to lodge prior year forms as normal through PLS.

However, we will continue to process these forms for a limited period through ELS.

Back to top

Last modified: 05 May 2016QC 42368