Explains what you can do with a deferral, how to lodge one or many and the process after you've lodged them.
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What you can do with deferrals
You can now make and view your lodgment deferral requests for client obligations through a single entry point. Requests that meet low-risk guidelines (Agent assessed or New or re-engaged client deferrals) will be processed within 48 hours. All other requests will be escalated for manual assessment. This can take up to 28 days in peak lodgment periods. You can request up to 40 deferrals in a single request.
You can request a lodgment deferral for:
- tax returns
- fringe benefits tax returns
- monthly and quarterly activity statements
- annual GST returns
- PAYG payment summary annual reports
- taxable payments annual reports.
You can't request a lodgment deferral for an activity statement before we have generated it and made it available online.
If you need to request a lodgment deferral for a large withholder or significant global entity, submit a single request for the client obligation through Online services for agents. This will ensure your request is escalated without delay for manual review.
Access manager permissions has information on the permissions required for the Lodgment deferral form, including:
- registration to add or update
- viewing and actioning your own mail.
You may be able to use a myGovID with a Basic identity strength to access some of our online services. To access online deferrals, you need Standard myGovID strength.
From the Agent home page:
- select Reports and Forms then Forms
- select the Lodgment deferral form.
This takes you to the Lodgment deferral screen, where you can:
- add a new lodgment deferral request
- view submitted deferral requests for up to 90 calendar days.
Make a lodgment deferral request
At the Lodgment deferral screen, select Add, then follow these steps:
Step 1 – Deferral details
Select deferral type Lodgment only or Lodgment and payment, then:
- for Deferral reason, choose from the drop-down list (choose New or re-engaged client only for tax return deferrals and only if your client’s current year tax return has a lodgment due date of 31 October or the next business day)
- at Who did the issue affect, select Agent or Client (except for a new or re-engaged client)
- select the Lodgment type such as income tax, activity statement (noting it will populate tax return for a new or re-engaged client)
- at Are you requesting a deferral for a single client select Yes or No (except New or re-engaged client)
- if deferrals are for multiple clients, then the next question displayed is Are all deferrals are for a single lodgment period? so either answer
- Yes and enter the lodgment period (you'll be able to search for multiple client identifiers at a time in the next step so ensure client identifiers are correct)
- at Supporting information give a detailed explanation to help us to process your request quickly (limit of 1,500 characters)
- Attach supporting documentation (optional)
- select Next.
Step 2 – Deferral request
Go to Search to add one to a maximum of 40 clients. If you need more than 40 deferrals, submit additional requests.
- search for clients by name, ABN or TFN and either
- add clients one at a time
- enter up to 10 ABNs or TFNs separated by commas (with no spaces)
- select Obligation to defer and the client's expected lodgments will be displayed depending on lodgment type selected
- at Requested due date
- we'll pre-populate a date if dates meet agent assessed or new or re-engaged client deferral criteria
- you can change the Requested due date if required by entering a new date
- select Save.
The requested due date:
If your lodgment deferral request doesn't meet our Agent assessed or New or re-engaged client deferral guidelines, it will be escalated for manual review. This can take up to 28 days in peak lodgment periods.
You'll receive an error message if:
- you've entered an incorrect TFN or ABN in a bulk search
- you aren't authorised for a client’s obligation, for example, if a BAS agent attempts to defer a tax return
- no eligible lodgments are found for the period, as examples
- there are no outstanding tax returns for the period
- there are no outstanding activity statements for the client
- only Forms R, S, T or N instalment notices are found
- your client isn't eligible for the selected New or re-engaged client deferral reason
- you've already added deferrals in this request for the client
- the client is branched for GST/PAYGW, insolvent or a member of a consolidated group and you'll need to submit a deferral request as a single client deferral request.
New or re-engaged client deferrals reason can be selected for tax returns only. You can request a 6-week:
- lodgment deferral for your client's current year tax return with a lodgment due date of 31 October (or the next business day)
- suspension of compliance action on any overdue prior year tax returns but you can request only up to 10 suspensions in a single request.
If you need more than 6 weeks, change the requested due date for the deferral. Your request will be escalated for manual review. This can take up to 28 days in peak lodgment periods.
If your client has other outstanding obligations (for example, activity statements):
- submit a separate deferral request for the other obligation type
- select another reason from the drop-down list in Step 1.
Step 3 – Summary
Review the lodgment deferrals you've requested:
- Select Back to change selected deferrals
- Select the Declaration box to agree
- Select Submit.
After you submit your lodgment deferral request
After you submit your lodgment deferral request, you'll receive confirmation of your deferral request including the ATO Receipt ID. You can use links on the confirmation to:
- view your submitted lodgment deferral requests (including ATO Receipt ID)
- view the outcome of each request in your Practice mail sent mail or lodgment deferral history screen when processing has been completed. You can save Practice mail items to a secure location (for example, practice software) to ensure an ongoing record of your deferral request
- select Print-friendly version
- lodge another deferral request.
We may not have finalised all processed requests as they may need to be escalated for manual review.
Request meets Agent assessed or New or re-engaged client deferral guidelines
Requests that meet Agent assessed or New or re-engaged client deferral guidelines will be displayed as approved. This includes updating your client’s due date within 48 hours for up to 40 deferrals in a single request.
Request doesn't meet Agent assessed or New or re-engaged client deferral guidelines
Requests that don't meet Agent assessed or New or re-engaged client deferral guidelines will be escalated for manual review. This can take up to 28 days in peak lodgment periods.
You'll receive a Practice mail message when a decision has been made on escalated deferrals, however the deferral status won't be updated on the Lodgment deferral screen.
View your submitted lodgment deferral requests
The lodgment deferral requests you've submitted in the last 90 calendar days are displayed on the screen. You can view the:
- date you submitted your request
- ATO receipt ID for the submitted request
- lodgment type such as tax return, activity statement
- number of deferrals in the request
- status of the request
- Processed if the system has completed processing (including deferrals that have been escalated for manual review even if there isn't a decision yet)
- Processing if the request is still in progress within the system.
To view the status of all deferred obligations within a single request, select an ATO receipt ID and the following information will display:
- deferral type
- deferral reason
- who the issue affected such as agent or client
- lodgment type
- deferrals requested and their status
- Approved means the deferral is finalised and the client due date has been updated – no further action required; you'll receive a message confirming the outcome in Practice mail sent items
- Escalated means the deferral doesn't meet Agent assessed or New or re-engaged client deferral guidelines and is being reviewed; this can take up to 28 days in peak lodgment periods and you'll receive a message in the Practice mailbox with the outcome of your request
- Rejected means the client or obligation wasn't eligible for a lodgment deferral
- Failed means system or technical issue prevented the request and you can submit another request.
Your lodgment deferral request will be escalated for manual review if it isn't eligible for an Agent assessed or New or re-engaged client deferral. Manual review and processing can take up to 28 days in peak lodgment periods. You'll receive a Practice mail message when your request has been processed.
We may escalate a lodgment deferral request for the following reasons:
- The date of request is more than 3 business days after the original lodgment due date.
- The requested due date is more than timeframes allowed in
- Agent assessed guidelines, which is 4 weeks for an annual obligation, 3 weeks for a quarterly obligation and 2 weeks for a monthly obligation
- New or re-engaged deferral guidelines, which is 6 weeks for deferral of current year tax return and 6 weeks for suspension of compliance action for outstanding prior year tax returns.
- The client is a Significant global entity or large withholder.
- The client is a company or super fund with a substituted accounting period.
- You have used a New or re-engaged client deferral reason where your client’s current year tax return has a lodgment due date other than 31 October (or next business day).
- The selected obligation has a lodgment due date of 15 January.
- The selected obligation is a Payment summary annual report or Taxable payments annual report.
- We've requested lodgment of client’s tax return or SMSF annual return.
You can select Print-friendly version to print your submitted lodgment deferral request.
We reject requests and can't process them if the obligation or client isn't eligible for a lodgment deferral. We may reject a deferral request for the following reasons:
- The requested due date is in more than 12 months.
- We can't find an obligation that's eligible for a lodgment deferral for the lodgment type you have selected.
- You've requested a deferral for an obligation that has been lodged.
- The requested due date you've selected has passed.
- You've requested a deferral for a Form R, S, T or N.
- These are instalment activity notices that aren't eligible for a lodgment deferral.
- Instalment activity notices aren't required to be lodged unless you wish to vary the instalment amount.
- You aren't authorised to defer a selected obligation, for example, a BAS agent attempting to defer a tax return.
Filter your submitted lodgment deferral requests
To search for specific deferral requests you've submitted over the last 90 calendar days, you can:
- filter to display search criteria
- search on
- date submitted
- client ABN or TFN
- ATO receipt ID
- lodgment type (type of obligation)
- status (processed or processing)
- select an ATO receipt ID.
If you're searching for a client ABN or TFN, only requests that include this client identifier will be displayed:
- Select Clear to remove existing search values.
- Select Filter to enter search criteria.