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  • Direct debit (DD)

    Direct debit (DD) is currently only available for income tax liabilities. In future, it may be expanded to include activity statement and FBT liabilities. DD was known in ELS as form type EM.

    DD enables us to debit your client’s nominated Australian financial institution account (excluding credit cards) with the amount of their tax liability.

    To authorise us to debit their account, your client must firstly have a direct debit authority in place with us on the specific relevant tax account. Direct debits are initiated by sending a single direct debit request to us for each debit interaction.

    DD authority

    The details on the authority must match the client and account details of the direct debit request. The authority gives us permission to debit the nominated account.

    The practitioner's client request for the authority can be made:

    To cancel a DD authority, contact your bank or contact us by phone or in writing (we will not debit an account until a direct debit authority request has been received).

    DD request

    The request direct debit service allows a client's agent to request that we initiate a one-off single direct debit from their nominated bank account. A DD authority must already be in place with us in order to use this service.

    After a successful direct debit request, a response will be received via the SBR-enabled software that contains an ‘arrangement ID’ (a unique payment reference number).

    DD cancel

    The cancel direct debit service allows a tax agent, business intermediary or business to cancel a previously requested one-off single direct debit. This does not cancel the DD authority. The arrangement ID provided in the original request must be used to cancel the direct debit.

    When to use the direct debit service

    You can use the direct debit service to pay a debt raised on your income tax account. The direct debit service is not yet available for payments associated with activity statement liabilities.

    Changing bank account details for direct debit

    If you want to change bank account details, you must complete another DD authority for the new bank account to provide us with permission to debit the new account. This will also cease the authority and debits for the previous account.

    If you want to change the bank account name only you can phone the EFT help desk on 1800 802 308 at least five business days before the payment date.

    Changing the amount of a funds transfer

    If you need to change a payment amount after you've transmitted a direct debit, phone the EFT help desk on 1800 802 308 no later than three business days before the payment date. The existing funds transfer will be cancelled. You can then transmit a new DD request that includes the updated payment amount.

    Private ruling (PR)

    The private ruling (PR) service allows tax agents, BAS agents, business and business intermediaries to submit a request for a private ruling on behalf of a client or a group of clients.

    A private ruling is binding advice that sets out how a tax law applies to a taxpayer (individual or business) in relation to a specific scheme or circumstance.

    An application for a private ruling can be lodged via the PLS; however the application cannot be cancelled or revised. Further information cannot be provided once submitted.

    There are two main differences between the PR service in the PLS, and what was supported in ELS:

    • attachments can be included in the application when submitted via SBR-enabled software      
      • up to six attachments can be submitted with the PR request
      • the file types supported are: doc, pdf, rtf, xls, tif, jpg, bmp, png, gif, mpp, ppt, docx, dotx, xlsx, xltx, pptx, potx, ppsx.
      • compressed zip files are not supported
      • each file cannot exceed 10MB.
    • anyone with SBR-enabled software may submit applications for private rulings      
      • a BAS agent can apply for a ruling on an income tax related subject, if they are authorised by the customer to do so. This does not give the BAS agent authority to act as a tax agent for the taxpayer.

    A manual check of the authority of the intermediary to act on their behalf of the taxpayer is performed by our staff as part of the private ruling process.

    See also:

    Income tax lodgment status (ITLDGSTS)

    This service allows tax agents to view a client's income tax role lodgment history.

    The income tax lodgment status shows the client's:

    • current lodgment year status and due date
    • last lodgment
    • lodgment status for the previous three years
    • lodgment history (for up to 16 years) where the status is 'not lodged'.
    Last modified: 30 May 2019QC 49409