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ATO set to launch tax record application system


Tax agents will soon be able to apply for a statement of tax record on behalf of their clients bidding for government contracts from the ATO next month.

By Jotham Lian 11 minute read

From 1 June, tax agents will be able to apply for a statement of tax record (STR) from the ATO via a new online system, with the statement to be generally processed within four business days.

The statement will be based on details held in ATO systems including information supplied by the taxpayer under the self-assessment system and statements made by the taxpayer when requesting the STR.

The requirement of an STR comes after Treasury released new procurement policy outlining the new rules that tenderers applying for Commonwealth government contracts over $4 million will have to comply with.


The measure, introduced as part of its focus on the black economy, will require businesses that tender for government projects valued over $4 million to provide a satisfactory STR for new tenders from 1 July 2019.

The government is one of the largest procurers of goods and services in the national market. In 2017–18, total Australian government procurement was over $71 billion.

In order to obtain a satisfactory STR, the business must be correctly registered for an Australian business number, goods and services tax, and tax file number.

It must have lodged at least 90 per cent of relevant income tax, business activity statement and fringe benefits tax lodgements that were due in the last four years of operation from the date of request for an STR, and must not have $10,000 or greater in outstanding undisputed debt due, or have a payment plan in place with the ATO.

Businesses with no tax record or a tax record of less than four years in Australia will need to meet additional conditions, including having no tax-related convictions in the last four years, and compliance and payment of Australian and foreign tax obligations.

After an STR request has been processed, the ATO will send an STR specifying if it has or has not met the satisfactory criteria, including details on elements which may have led to an unsatisfactory STR.

The STR will be valid for 12 months for the time of issue or six months if the business has an Australian tax record of less than four years.

“The ATO will build an online system that will enable businesses to request and receive these statements in a short time frame,” the ATO said.

“It is expected that most businesses will be able to obtain the STR without any difficulty.”

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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian


Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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