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Applying for a lodgment deferral

How to apply for lodgment deferrals and what happens next.

Last updated 30 November 2023

Before you apply

Before you apply, find out how lodgment deferrals work, which obligations are eligible and when you don't need to apply.

You'll need to have some information ready to apply, including full details of:

  • why you're submitting the request and if applicable, why it's after the lodgment due date
  • the exceptional or unforeseen circumstances affecting your ability to lodge by the due date.

If you're requesting a payment deferral at the same time as a lodgment deferral, you'll need to provide full details of the circumstances preventing your client from paying by the due date. Your request must be consistent with PS LA 2011/14 General debt collection powers and principles.

How to apply

You can request lodgment deferrals in Online services for agents:

  • select Reports and forms, then Forms
  • select the Lodgment deferral form
  • enter the required information, select the Declaration box and then Submit.

You can request up to 40 deferrals at a time. If you need more than 40 deferrals, you can submit additional requests.

On-screen prompts will help you as you go, or you can watch our videos or refer to the Online services for agents user guide for instructions.

Instructional videos

This video demonstrates how to add a single lodgment deferral.

Media: How to add a single lodgment deferral Link (Duration: 2:37)

This video explains how to add multiple lodgment deferrals.

Media: How to add multiple lodgment deferrals Link (Duration: 3:12)

Significant global entities and large businesses

Lodgment deferral requests submitted for significant global entities or large business, including excise taxpayers, will be forwarded to our large business specialists for consideration. You may be contacted by them if you request a lodgment deferral for one of these entities.

To ensure your request is forwarded without delay, we recommend you submit requests for these entities in a separate request to those you submit for other clients.

New or re-engaged clients

Only select New or re-engaged client as the lodgment deferral reason if your client's current year income tax return has a lodgment due date of 31 October.

You can select a different deferral reason from the drop-down list if:

  • your client has any other lodgment due date for their current year return
  • you need more than 6 weeks to lodge their overdue tax returns
  • your client has overdue obligations that are not tax returns.

Find out how new or re-engaged client lodgment deferrals work.

After you apply

You will receive a receipt ID when you submit your request. You can also view the request along with any others you've submitted in the previous 90 days.

Processing your request

If your request meets the agent assessed or new or re-engaged client deferral guidelines, it will be processed within 48 hours.

All other requests will be escalated for manual assessment as an ATO assessed deferral and may take up to 28 days to finalise in peak lodgment periods.

See View your submitted lodgment deferral requests for the reasons a request may be escalated for manual assessment, rejected or failed.

Spreadsheet application forms

Spreadsheet applications forms are no longer available and will not be processed.

You need to request lodgment deferrals using the function under the Reports and forms menu in Online services for agents.

Notifying you of the outcome

We will notify you of the outcome of your request through Practice mail.

You will receive a second message once an escalated request is finalised.

If your request is approved, the deferred due date will show in Online services for agents and on your practitioner lodgment service (PLS) client report.

If your request is declined or varied, we will provide a reason for the decision.

The Lodgment deferral history screen also displays the receipt ID and the outcome of requests submitted through the lodgment deferral function in the previous 90 days.