To help tax professionals meet the 85 per cent on-time lodgment requirement, the ATO advised tax professionals to regularly check their lodgment performance online, review and update their client list and let the ATO know if a client does not need to lodge a tax return.
“You should also check whether new clients who were previously self-preparers have outstanding prior year tax returns,” the ATO said.
“You can monitor your on-time lodgment performance for income tax returns online through Online services for agents. The information for the current lodgment program year is updated every week and provides a snapshot of the number of income tax returns: lodged on time or late; overdue; expected to be lodged.
“If you have fringe benefits tax (FBT) clients linked to your registered agent number, you can also track your FBT on-time lodgment performance online between 1 April and 31 October.”
When it comes to updating client list, the ATO advised tax professionals to take advantage of “Online services for agents – Advanced search” and “Practitioner lodgment service – Reports”.
“The client lists produced by these online services may provide different views of your clients’ details,” the ATO said, noting that “all clients with an expected lodgment who are attached to your registered agent number will be included in your 85 per cent on-time lodgment performance calculation”.
In the event of a return not being necessary, the ATO said it’s important to notify it directly.
“Clients attached to your registered agent number with an expected lodgment will be included in your on-time lodgment performance calculation. If a client is not required to lodge a tax return or FBT return, notify us if lodgment is not required before the due date so we can update our records,” it said.
“A return not necessary (RNN) or further return not necessary (FRNN), also known as a non-lodgment advice, lets us know that your client has no obligation to lodge a tax return for either a specified year, or in the future. You can lodge a non-lodgment advice for your client through Online services for agents or the practitioner lodgment service.
“A RNN advises us that a tax return is not required for one financial year only. If you submit a RNN for your client, their tax return will be expected to be lodged in future years.
“If you notify us of a further return not necessary (FRNN), a lodgment will not be expected for your client this year or in the future. However, lodging a FRNN or notifying us that a return is a final return for your client does not remove the client link in ATO systems. You can remove former clients from your client list in Online services for agents or your practice software.”
Emma Ryan is the deputy head of content at Momentum Media and editor of the company's legal publication, Lawyers Weekly.
Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015 and has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia. In addition, she has produced exclusive multimedia and event content related to the company's respective brands and audiences.
A journalist by training, Emma has spent her career connecting with key industry stakeholders across a variety of platforms, including online, podcast and radio. She graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism).