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  • Common lodgment mistakes and tips

    Simple errors on returns can delay the issue of assessments to your clients.

    Take the time to read the following information. It will reduce delays and help us to help you:

    ‘Care-of’ addresses

    When completing address fields for a ‘care-of’ address, note that ‘C/-' is the only expression accepted by our systems. All other expressions result in an error and may delay your client’s assessment.

    Tips for faster processing

    Most tax returns and amendments move through our processing systems without intervention. However, in some instances, missing or incorrect information can cause delays or produce errors and require manual intervention.

    The following tips will help ensure returns are processed as quickly as possible:

    • your client's surname, date of birth and gender (only required for some forms) must match the details on our systems
    • check your client's surname against your most recent client listing – if your client has changed their name, or we have an incorrect spelling or punctuation, make sure you update their details before lodgment (see Updating client details).
    • the use of 'additional information' should be avoided wherever possible unless the information being provided is relevant to the outcome of the assessment. Unnecessary use of the additional free text field will delay processing of the return with the need for the ATO to manually review the information (see Providing additional information).

    The client update service can be used to update the client address.

    Activity statement tips

    Revision indicator field

    The revision indicator is not a compulsory field. It should only be completed when a revision is needed for an activity statement that has already been lodged.

    A processing delay may occur when the field is completed for an original activity statement lodgment. The status of an activity statement or revision for your client can be viewed through the Tax Agent and BAS Agent portals.

    Reporting method elections

    If your client has chosen to pay GST or PAYG by instalments, they must keep the same method that was selected in quarter one for the remainder of the financial year.

    Variations

    If you vary the instalment amount, you must also include the estimated tax for the year. A varied PAYG instalment amount should be typed at T9 and the estimated tax for the year included at T8.

    A varied GST instalment amount should be entered at G23 and the estimated GST for the year at G22.

    A varied FBT instalment amount should be entered at F3 and F2.

    Company tax return tips

    Consolidated company

    If you are lodging a consolidated tax return on behalf of the head company, at item 3, 'Status of company', select Z1, 'Consolidated head company'.

    If the return is not an income tax consolidated group return lodged by the head company, do not include the Z1 label as this will delay processing.

    Calculation statement – labels S and K

    Not correctly completing (PAYG instalments raised) and (Amount due or refundable) in the Company tax return calculation statement may cause processing delays.

    K should only include PAYG instalments reported on the company's monthly, quarterly or annual activity statements.

    S is the total amount of tax payable or refundable and does not take into account any interim or voluntary payments. These payments will be automatically added to the assessment.

    Refer to the calculation statement section of the Company tax returns.

    SMSF annual return tips

    The account status provides information regarding whether contributions can be accepted by the self-managed super fund (SMSF) into an account maintained for the member or former member.

    When lodging an SMSF annual return via the PLS, it is mandatory to provide an account status code for all members. Valid codes are O (open) and C (closed).

    Members with a completed date of death label

    If the member closing account balance has been completed with a value greater than zero, then the account status code must be O.

    If the member closing account balance has not been completed or is zero, then the account status code must be C.

    Members where the date of death label has not been completed

    The account status code must be O if either:

    • the member held a super interest in the SMSF as at 30 June of the reporting income year
    • the SMSF expects to receive and will accept future payments on behalf of the member.

    The account status code must be C if both:

    • the member did not hold a super interest in the SMSF as at 30 June of the reporting income year, and
    • the closing account balance has not been completed or is zero and any of the following apply      
      • the member outward amounts less any rolled-in contributions at item 15K on a Rollover Benefit Statement (RBS) was completed with a value greater than zero
      • the member lump sum payment was completed with a value greater than zero
      • the member income stream payment was completed with a value greater than zero.

    Clients with restricted access

    Some taxpayer records have restricted access. We call these 'Security Assessed Clients'. This means that your client’s records can only be accessed by some of our employees. It also means you will be prevented from lodging for your client through the PLS.

    Security Assessed Clients include government officials, high profile individuals and other taxpayers that may need additional security controls.

    To lodge returns or forms for your clients with restricted access through the PLS you will need to contact us first.

    Call us on 13 28 69 between 8.00am and 5.00pm AEST Monday to Friday and ask for Security Assessed Clients on extension 61899.

    Last modified: 30 May 2019QC 49409