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Substituted accounting periods

Find the lodgment due date for a taxpayer with a substituted accounting period, by type of entity and closing date.

Last updated 4 November 2023

Find the lodgment due date for a taxpayer with a substituted accounting period (SAP) by type of entity and closing date.

How a SAP works

Taxpayers who have been granted leave to adopt a SAP must meet the following lodgment requirements for:

  • individuals, partnerships and trusts – due date for lodgment is the last day of the fourth month after the close of the accounting period
  • companies and super funds (excluding not full self-assessment taxpayers (NFSA)) – due date for payment is the first day of the sixth month after the close of the accounting period
  • companies and super funds (excluding NFSA) – due date for lodgment is the 15th day of the seventh month after the close of the accounting period.

Not a full self-assessment taxpayer

The lodgment concession available to SAPs does not apply where the SAP entity is not a full self-assessment taxpayer.

Lodgment deferral

You can request a lodgment deferral for taxpayers with a SAP. Requests for companies and super funds will be escalated for manual assessment as an ATO assessed deferral.

Identifying clients operating under approved SAP

You can identify clients operating under approved SAP on income tax client listings from the codes shown in the SAP column.

Table: Codes shown in the SAP column converted to balance dates

SAP code

Approved balance date

Term used in lodgment program

A

31 Dec 2022

Early December balancer

For information about the availability of a lodgment concession to 31 July, see early December balancing company and super fund clients.

B

31 Jan 2023

January balancer

C

28 Feb 2023

February balancer

D

31 Mar 2023

March balancer

E

30 Apr 2023

April balancer

F

31 May 2023

May balancer

G

31 July 2023

July balancer

H

31 Aug 2023

August balancer

I

30 Sep 2023

September balancer

J

31 Oct 2023

October balancer

K

30 Nov 2023

November balancer

L

31 Dec 2023

Late December balancer

You can no longer request a late December balance date.

Regardless of the actual date the entity balances, it is deemed to have a financial year ending on the last day of the relevant month.

Concession for an early December balancer

A lodgment concession is available to 31 July for early balancing December SAP clients if they lodge electronically. A full self-assessment company or super fund that is an early December balancer must lodge a tax return no later than the 15th day of the seventh month after the end of their year of income. The due date for lodgment for these entities is 15 July.

However, we will grant a lodgment concession to 31 July if you lodge your client’s tax return electronically by 31 July. We have granted this concession in response to feedback from tax practitioners that tax time software availability makes it difficult to meet the lodgment due date of 15 July.

This is a lodgment concession only. Payment, if required, is still due on the first day of the sixth month after their year of income, which is 1 June. We will not apply a failure to lodge (FTL) penalty to early December balancing SAP clients when their tax return is lodged by 31 July.

What tax return form to use

Tax returns for taxpayers using a SAP should be made on the tax return form for the year in lieu of which the accounting period has been adopted. For example, you should prepare an early balancing 2023 tax return on the 2023 tax return form.

We make every effort to release tax time stationery as early as possible. However, if the relevant form has not been produced by the date the taxpayer wishes to lodge, they must use the 2022 tax return form. In these cases, whether lodging electronically or by paper, you must both:

  • enter the year of income that the SAP replaces on page one of the tax return – failure to do so may result in us rejecting the lodged tax return
  • provide us with the information requested under any new labels on the 2023 tax return form – you must do this shortly after we release the 2023 form.

Applying for a SAP

You can apply for a SAP through Application for a substituted accounting period (SAP) (NAT 5087).

Our Privacy notice – Application for a substituted accounting period contains important information about your privacy.

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