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  • Statement of tax record

    The term ‘black economy’ has now changed to ‘shadow economy’. This change reflects the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) definition of unreported or dishonest economic activity. References to the Black Economy Standing Taskforce (BEST) will remain and the taskforce will continue to focus on activities identified under the OECD definition of ‘shadow economy’.

    The Black Economy Procurement Connected Policy (PCP) commenced on 1 July 2019 and applies to new approaches to market on or after 1 July 2019.

    Businesses tendering for Commonwealth Government procurements that are undertaken through open tenders, are subject to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and have an estimated total value of over $4 million (including GST) must obtain a statement of tax record (STR) showing satisfactory engagement with the tax system.

    The satisfactory STR needs to be valid at the time of tender closing.

    We recommend that entities requiring an STR:

    • refer to the tender request documentation to clarify the requirements
    • refer to the Black Economy Procurement Connected Policy (PCP)External Link to understand how the rules affect them
    • apply for an STR early to allow time for processing before the tender closing date
    • keep their tax obligations (registration, lodgment, payment) up to date, to ensure they receive a satisfactory STR.

    Who needs an STR

    You must obtain a satisfactory STR if:

    • you are a business (prime contractor) tendering for Commonwealth Government procurements, including panel arrangements, with an estimated total value over $4 million (including GST)

    OR

    • required as outlined in the tender request documentation.

    First tier subcontractors undertaking work individually valued at over $4 million (including GST) for the prime contractor are also required to have a satisfactory tax record.

    A prime contractor is a business tendering for or under contract with a Commonwealth Government agency. A first tier subcontractor works directly for a prime contractor.

    Partnerships, trusts, joint ventures and consolidated groups

    A business that is tendering for a contract must request an STR. Different rules apply depending on the nature of a tenderer or subcontractor:

    • Partnerships – a partnership and each partner directly involved in delivering a contract must request an STR. New partners who become directly involved in the delivery of the contract must request an STR within a reasonable time after they become involved. These STR requirements apply if those involved remain partners in the partnership.
    • Trusts – the trust and trustee must request an STR.
    • Joint ventures – each party to a joint venture must request an STR. The joint venture operator must also request an STR if they are not a participant of the joint venture.
    • A subsidiary of a tax consolidated group, or a multiple entry consolidated (MEC) group – the subsidiary and the head company must request an STR.
    • Member of a GST group – the group representative and the group member must request an STR.

    Who should not apply for an STR

    An individual who is not in business should not apply for an STR. The criteria for a satisfactory STR only apply if you are in business.

    Criteria for a satisfactory STR

    The information in an STR comes from details on our systems. This may include information provided under Australia’s self-assessment regime.

    The PCP specifies these criteria for a satisfactory STR to be issued:

    • You are up to date with registration requirements, which may include      
      • being registered for an Australian business number (ABN) and GST
      • having a tax file number (TFN)      
        • If you are a tendering business or their first tier subcontractor, you will need to be registered for a TFN, ABN and GST when you apply for your STR.
        • If you are a partner or trustee you will need a TFN. You may also need to be registered for an ABN and GST if you are carrying on a business in your own right. 
         
       
    • You have lodged at least 90% (of each lodgment type) of your obligations due in the last four years of operation (from the date of your request for an STR), including      
      • income tax returns
      • business activity statements (BAS)
      • fringe benefits tax (FBT) returns. 
       

    Note: Reasonable delays in lodgments due to extensions agreed to by us will not affect you receiving a satisfactory STR.

    • You need to pay any undisputed debt of $10,000 or greater by the due date, or have a payment plan in place with us.

    Disputed debts subject to a formal objection, review or appeal will not affect a satisfactory STR.

    If you have an Australian tax record of less than four years (for example, if you are a new Australian business or new foreign tenderer) you need to meet additional conditions to obtain a satisfactory STR. This includes making statements relating to:

    • being a non-resident with no tax record or a tax record of less than four years in Australia
    • compliance and payment of Australian and foreign tax obligations
    • no tax-related convictions in the last four years (applies to Australian and foreign entities).

    Unsatisfactory STR

    You will receive a report with your STR showing the criteria that were met or not met. This is for your information only.

    If you did not meet the satisfactory STR criteria, you may be able to take corrective action to bring your tax obligations up to date. You may then reapply for an STR the day after the corrective action is recorded in our systems.

    How to correct an unsatisfactory STR

    These corrective actions may help you to meet the satisfactory STR criteria:

    • Registration – ensure you are up to date with registration requirements (ABN, GST, TFN).
    • Outstanding lodgments – ensure you have lodged at least 90% of all income tax returns, FBT returns and BAS due in the last four years. Notify us if you are not required to lodge a tax return or have nothing to report; otherwise you may receive an unsatisfactory STR.
    • Outstanding debt– you can pay any undisputed debt of $10,000 or greater by the due date, or you may be able to set up a payment plan. For help with payment plans, go to Help with paying.
    • If your disputed debt is under review, please contact us on 13 28 66.

    See also:

    Requesting an STR

    Requests to obtain or maintain STRs should be made as early as possible. This allows time for processing before tender closing dates or previous contract expiry dates.

    How to apply

    How to apply for an STR will depend on whether you:

    To be registered with the ATO means you have a TFN or ABN or both.

    Registered with the ATO

    For registered tax agents:

    • Apply using Online services for agents      
      • select a client
      • select Business
      • select Statement of tax record
      • at the Statement of tax record screen, select Apply on the Requests bar towards the bottom of the screen. 
       

    For businesses:

    • Apply using the Online services for business      
      • select Lodgments
      • select Reports and forms
      • select Statement of tax record from the Reports and forms list
      • at the Statement of tax record screen, select Apply on the Requests bar towards the bottom of the screen. 
       

    For sole traders:

    • Apply using your myGov account linked to the ATO      
      • select Tax
      • select Lodgments
      • select Reports and forms
      • select Statement of tax record
      • at the Statement of tax record screen, select Apply on the Requests bar towards the bottom of the screen. 
       

    Non-resident not registered with the ATO

    • Phone 1300 146 094, then once instructed enter call-back code 118#, 8.00am–6.00pm EST or EDT, Monday–Friday. Note: 13 and 1300 numbers may not work from outside Australia, in which case you can      
      • phone our switchboard on +61 2 6216 1111, 8.00am–5.00pm EST or EDT, Monday–Friday
      • ask to be transferred to 1300 146 094, once instructed, enter call-back code 118#   
       
    • Alternatively, you can apply by email. Download the Statement of tax record application form (PDF, 172KB)This link will download a file and follow the instructions.

    Australian resident not registered with the ATO

    No digital access to the ATO

    • For businesses phone 13 28 66
    • For tax agents phone 13 72 86 Fast Key Code 1 2 5 1

    If you apply by phone, you will be mailed a paper copy of your STR. It may take longer than four business days for you to receive it due to postal delivery time.

    During an ATO system outage

    • For businesses phone 13 28 66
    • For tax agents phone 13 72 86 Fast Key Code 1 2 5 1

    Receiving an STR

    If you apply using Online services for agents, Online services for business or myGov, you will receive your STR through the same online service and Statement of tax record screen where you submitted your request.

    We will generally process your request for an STR within four business days.

    If you are not registered with the ATO, we will send your STR by email.

    Statement of tax record screen

    Image of Statement of tax record screen. Access the STR receipt, STR and Taxpayer report from the Requests section located near the bottom of the screen.

    The Statement of tax record screen will display a receipt within 24 hours of submitting your request. Once we have processed your request, the Requests section will display both your:

    • Statement of tax record – specifying whether you have met or not met the satisfactory criteria. You will need to submit your satisfactory STR with your tender
    • Taxpayer report – detailing the elements of the Procurement Connected Policy criteria you met or did not meet. The report is for your information only and you should not submit it with your tender.

    If a receipt does not display within 24 hours of submitting your request, or you do not receive the STR within four business days, phone us on:

    • 13 28 66 (for businesses)
    • 13 72 86 (for registered agents)

    STR not received by tender closing date

    If you have requested an STR but have not received it by the tender closing date, refer to your tender request documentation to determine what you can do. You may be able to include a copy of your request receipt with your tender and provide your STR within four business days after the tender closes.

    STR validity

    An STR is valid for:

    • 12 months from the time of issue – if you have an Australian tax record of four or more years
    • Six months from the time of issue – if you have an Australian tax record of less than four years.

    Your STR must be valid at the closing date of a tender. You may need to provide an updated STR during the life of a contract if this is specified in the terms of the contract.

    See also:

    Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra. 

      Last modified: 25 Sep 2021QC 58371