ato logo

What you can do to meet the performance requirement

How to apply for an agent assessed deferral if you or your client are in an exceptional or unforeseen situation.

Last updated 30 June 2023

Find out how tax professionals can meet the 85% on-time lodgment requirement.

What you need to do

To help you meet the 85% on-time lodgment requirement, you should:

  • regularly check your lodgment performance online
  • review and update your client list
  • let us know if a client does not need to lodge a tax return
  • check whether new clients who were previously self-preparers have outstanding prior year tax returns.

Track your on-time lodgment performance

You can monitor your on-time lodgment performance for income tax returns online through Online services for agents. The information for the current lodgment program year is updated every week and provides a snapshot of the number of income tax returns:

  • lodged on time or late
  • overdue
  • expected to be lodged.

If you have fringe benefits tax (FBT) clients linked to your registered agent number, you can also track your FBT on-time lodgment performance online between 1 April and 31 October.

Update your client list

All clients with an expected lodgment who are attached to your registered agent number will be included in your 85% on-time lodgment performance calculation. Updating your client list regularly will help your practice to manage client due dates and ensure that clients who no longer use your services are not included in your lodgment program performance calculation.

You can obtain a list of your clients using:

The client lists produced by these online services may provide different views of your clients’ details.

Check due dates for new or re-engaged clients

If you engage new clients (or re-engage previous clients) with overdue prior year income tax returns, your on-time lodgment performance will only be affected if you lodge the current year’s return after the due date or deferred due date.

Eligibility criteria applies to deferrals for new or re-engaged clients with overdue returns. You can request a lodgment deferral for the current year income tax return due on 31 October and suspension of compliance action on prior year returns, to give you time to prepare and lodge the overdue tax returns.

Notify us if a return is not necessary

Clients attached to your registered agent number with an expected lodgment will be included in your on-time lodgment performance calculation. If a client is not required to lodge a tax return or FBT return, notify us if lodgment is not required before the due date so we can update our records.

A return not necessary (RNN) or further return not necessary (FRNN), also known as a non-lodgment advice, lets us know that your client has no obligation to lodge a tax return for either a specified year, or in the future. You can lodge a non-lodgment advice for your client through Online services for agents or the practitioner lodgment service.

A RNN advises us that a tax return is not required for one financial year only. If you submit a RNN for your client, their tax return will be expected to be lodged in future years.

If you notify us of a further return not necessary (FRNN), a lodgment will not be expected for your client this year or in the future. However, lodging a FRNN or notifying us that a return is a final return for your client does not remove the client link in ATO systems. You can remove former clients from your client list in Online services for agents or your practice software.

To advise us that your client does not have to lodge an FBT return for a particular year, submit an FBT non-lodgment advice form via Practice mail in Online services for agents using the:

  • topic Fringe benefits tax (FBT)
  • subject FBT non-lodgment advice and FBT returns.

It may take up to 28 days to process your FBT non-lodgment advice request. Submit your form early to ensure your performance measurement is accurate.