A relationship (client link) must be established before accessing or using the PLS for a particular client.
Tax agents can update client details for both activity statements and income tax, while BAS agents can only update client details for activity statements.
You can add or remove a link between a client and yourself.
If a relationship already exists for that client with another registered agent, that relationship will be end-dated at the time of the new update.
If a client is removed from your client listing and later restored, all client data will be accessible from the restoration date. Clients may have different registered agents for different roles.
Types of client updates currently available, depending on the software you use, include:
- add or remove a relationship with a client – (CUREL)
- advise date of death – (CUDTL)
- update the legal name of a trust, super fund or partnership – (CUDTL)
- add or remove activity statement roles – (CUMAS)
- update lodgment status (RNN or FRNN) – (CURNN)
- update addresses (business, residential, postal) – (CUADDR)
- update electronic details (email, telephone numbers) – (CUEC)
- update financial institution details – (CUFI).
Updating an individual's name cannot be done via the PLS. The individual must contact us to verify their identity.
Updates to your client list (adding or removing clients) occur in real time for single transactions with the PLS, providing there are no errors in the request.
Refer to your software's transmission response to confirm that the information was sent and received successfully.
Direct debit (DD) may be used to pay personal income tax, fringe benefits tax, activity statement, company income tax, superannuation fund income tax and superannuation guarantee charge.
Direct debit can be set up on your client’s nominated Australian financial institution account or a credit/debit card. Overseas accounts are not accepted.
Only card holders can set up or modify a direct debit using their credit/debit card. This service is available via Online services for individuals and Online services for businesses.
To authorise us to debit their financial institution account, your client must first have a direct debit authority in place with us on the specific relevant tax account.
Direct debits are initiated by sending a single direct debit request to us for each debit interaction.
Direct debit authority
The details on the authority must match the client details and bank account of the direct debit request. The authority gives us permission to debit the nominated bank account.
The request for direct debit authority can be made:
- using Online services for agents
- by phone
- through myGov (when making a payment plan online)
- using the Direct debit request form (NAT 2284).
To cancel a direct debit authority, contact your bank or contact us by phone or in writing (we will not debit an account until a direct debit authority request has been received).
The request direct debit service allows you to request that we initiate a one-off single direct debit from a nominated bank account. A direct debit authority must already be in place with us in order to use this service.
After a successful direct debit request, a response will be received via your software that contains an ‘arrangement ID’ (a unique payment reference number).
Direct debit cancel
The cancel direct debit service allows you to cancel a previously requested one-off single direct debit from a nominated bank account. This does not cancel the direct debit authority. The arrangement ID provided in the original request must be used to cancel the direct debit.
Changing bank account details for direct debit
If you want to change bank account details, you must complete another DD authority for the new bank account to provide us with permission to debit the new account. This will also cease the authority and debits for the previous account.
If you want to change the bank account name only you can phone the EFT help desk on 1800 802 308 at least 5 business days before the payment date.
Changing the amount of a funds transfer
If you need to change a payment amount after you've transmitted a direct debit, phone the EFT help desk on 1800 802 308 no later than 3 business days before the payment date. The existing funds transfer will be cancelled. You can then transmit a new DD request that includes the updated payment amount.
The private ruling (PR) service allows you to submit a request for a private ruling on behalf of a client or a group of clients.
A private ruling is binding advice that sets out how a tax law applies to a taxpayer (individual or business), in relation to a specific scheme or circumstance.
An application for a private ruling can be lodged via the PLS.
However, the application cannot be cancelled or revised. Further information cannot be provided once submitted.
These attachments can be included in the application, when submitted via your software:
- up to 6 attachments can be submitted with the PR request
- the file types supported are – doc, pdf, rtf, xls, tif, jpg, bmp, png, gif, mpp, ppt, docx, dotx, xlsx, xltx, pptx, potx, ppsx
- compressed zip files are not supported
- each file cannot exceed 10MB.
A manual check of the authority of the intermediary to act on their behalf of the taxpayer is performed by our staff. This is part of the private ruling process.
The individual income tax return profile compare (IITRPRFL) is an optional service for current-year returns. It allows you to receive real-time messages for your clients regarding income and deductions that are unexpected.
You can select this service through your software, which will access our operational analytics to see if any of the claims are out of the ordinary.
An example of the type of message that may be returned is:
'Your total work-related expenses of $xxx are high compared to others in your occupation with similar income. Please review these amounts, particularly your claims for car and other deductions. (Occupation: xxx)'
Messaging for clients is available for the following labels:
- interest income and dividend income
- work-related expenses
- cost of managing tax affairs – other expenses incurred
- other deductions – other (D15)
- rental interest
- cost of sales and total expenses for sole traders.
Note: All labels related to salary and wage income need to be completed for work-related expenses and other deductions responses to be correct.
Messages are advisory only:
- receiving a message does not mean a claim is incorrect – it is intended to prompt you to consider unexpected claims that we are more likely to review
- not receiving a message does not necessarily mean a claim is correct.
Receipt of a nudge message is not a factor in selection for cases for compliance action. It is the information included on the lodged tax return that informs risk modelling.
We will monitor use of the system to ensure it is being used in line with its primary intent of highlighting unexpected claims.
This service allows the tax agent to track the progress of a tax return for the following return types:
- tax returns
- refund of franking credits (company, trust and individual)
- company tax return
- strata body corporate tax return (company)
- partnership tax return
- super fund tax return
- self-managed super fund annual return
- trust tax return.
The Client Communication List service allows you to request and list a client communication record for a single client, multiple clients or all clients.
The Client Communication Get service allows you to request and retrieve client communications for a single client, multiple clients or all clients through:
- ATO online
- agent detail.
The communication preferences services allow you to manage some communications between us, the tax practitioner and their client.
For a practice to be able to set their client’s communication preferences, they need to set their practice (default) preference first.
By choosing communications to be sent to their practice, clients of agents will have their mail sent electronically to their agent instead of to the client’s myGov inbox or by post.
Tax agents can set preference for all 6 communication types;
- income tax
- activity statement related
- study and training support loans
- employer and business obligations.
When setting a client’s communication preferences to Practice, agents will need to provide a declaration that they understand that the preferred address for service for these communications issued via the Agent Digital channel is OSfA.
This is where the we make the communications available to the agent. However, software can be used to retrieve the communications from OSfA.