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Notify us if lodgment is not required

How to notify us when a client is not required to lodge a statement or return.

Last updated 30 June 2023

When to notify us

If your client is not required to lodge a tax return or FBT return or has nothing to report in an activity statement for a particular period, advise us before the lodgment due date so we can update our records.

This will keep your client list up to date and avoid unnecessary compliance action that may take place once the document is overdue.

Tax returns

Under certain circumstances, clients who have a tax file number (TFN) may not have to lodge tax returns. To avoid compliance action, and the client being given an earlier lodgment date next year because a tax return is overdue, it is best that you advise us through either:

Return not necessary (RNN) and Further return not necessary (FRNN) advices are also known as non-lodgment advices.

If there are no further returns required, you should lodge an FRNN advice and remove the client from your client list.

Notify us if your client is not required to lodge their Fringe benefits tax return.

Clients you cannot lodge an RNN advice for

You cannot lodge an RNN advice if the client:

  • has been issued with a tax return lodgment demand from us for that income year
  • has an active ABN and is operating a business during that financial year (if they are no longer operating a business, they must meet all their lodgment and payment obligations prior to requesting cancellation of their ABN)
  • has pay as you go (PAYG) instalment credits for that income year (you can only lodge an RNN if PAYG instalments have been varied or reduced to nil for the full income year)
  • is a super fund
  • has exceeded their superannuation concessional or non-concessional contributions cap
  • was, for the 2023 year, either a liable parent or a recipient parent under a child support assessment, unless both of the following apply  
    • the client received government benefits for the entire financial year
    • the client's income was less than $27,509.

Sometimes an RNN is not required

If any of the following circumstances apply to your client, you do not need to advise us that a return is not necessary:

  • they are a newly registered client and have no need for an RNN for years before their registration
  • we have already entered an RNN during the selected year because they are  
    • Centrelink recipients
    • subsidiary members of a consolidated group and have no requirement to lodge
    • a minor beneficiary.

Activity statements

If your client has nothing to report for a particular period, lodge a nil activity statement by the due date to prevent a demand notice being issued. This includes when the client only has a PAYG withholding obligation and has not had a withholding event during the reporting period.

There are exceptions to the requirement to lodge a nil return. The following forms do not generally have lodgment requirements, and only need to be lodged by the payment due date if varying the instalment amount:

  • quarterly PAYG instalment notice (Form R)
  • quarterly goods and services tax (GST) instalment notice (Form S)
  • quarterly PAYG and GST instalment notice (Form T).

Also, the annual PAYG instalment notice does not generally require lodgment and only needs to be lodged if you are varying the instalment amount or using the rate method to calculate the instalment. It is best to lodge the notice (and, if applicable, pay the instalment) before lodging the tax return if either the:

  • required notice must be lodged by 21 October 2023
  • taxpayer intends to lodge their 2022 tax return before 21 October 2023.

Lodge nil activity statements in advance

Activity statements can be generated early for your clients in the following cases:

  • They are going to be absent from their place of business before the end of the reporting period and the business will not be trading during that period.
  • They are a short-term visitor (for example, an entertainer or sports person and will be leaving the country before generation of the activity statement).
  • Their entity is under some form of administration.
  • Their business has ceased.
  • They will be travelling (either within Australia or overseas) and therefore will not be able to obtain their activity statement if generated under normal bulk process.

If your client lodges quarterly and they have elected to report and pay monthly, they aren't eligible for early generation of activity statements.

Activity statements can be generated for up to 6 months in advance for either:

  • six monthly activity statements
  • two quarterly activity statements.

Eligibility requirements

Activity statements can be issued early for all non-elected monthly (that is, if your client is required to report and pay monthly), quarterly and annual lodgers who meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • your client has not had an active deferred goods and services tax (DGST) role during the reporting period the request relates to
  • generating the statement under normal bulk processes and timeframes will cause difficulties for your client in meeting the lodgment and payment due date
  • it is not practical or possible for your client to find alternative lodgment arrangements, and they are either a  
    • June balancer
    • substituted accounting period (SAP) balancer and are requesting early generation of an annual Form I only for PAYGW – go to view the substituted accounting period status.

To request that your client's activity statements be issued early, phone us on 13 72 86.

Fringe benefits tax returns

Under certain circumstances, clients who are registered to pay FBT may not have to lodge an FBT return. If your client's fringe benefits taxable amount during an FBT year is nil, you will need to lodge an FBT non-lodgment advice (registered agents). This will avoid us seeking an FBT return from your client later.

You can use the FBT non-lodgment advice form to advise us that lodgment is not required for multiple years and clients. Send your completed form via Practice mail in Online services for agents.

The FBT taxable amount may be nil for a range of reasons – for example, the:

  • business ceased
  • employee has made contributions
  • business no longer provides fringe benefits.

Super funds

Australian resident super funds must lodge tax returns, regardless of how much income they receive. If the fund is wound up, you cannot lodge an RNN advice – instead, you must lodge a final return.

Registered tax agents or trustees may be able to advise us of an RNN for certain newly registered SMSFs that meet specific criteria.