New lodgment deferral function now available

2 May, 2023

Requesting a lodgment deferral using the new function

The ATO’s new lodgment deferral function is now available in Online services for agents — under the ‘Reports and forms’ menu. The ATO has been working with registered agents and professional associations to co-design the new function and conducted beta testing with a select group of tax and BAS agents over the past month.

There is no longer a need to download and complete different spreadsheets. Now, client information is pre-populated. Agents will receive a response within 48 hours for requests that meet agent-assessed guidelines.

To be ready to use the new function, the ATO advises agents to:

  • check staff submitting lodgment deferral requests have standard myGovID identity strength
  • have access to client registration add/update permission in Online services for agents.

To request a lodgment deferral using the function in Online services:

  • select Reports and forms then Forms
  • select the Lodgment deferral form
  • enter the required information, select the Declaration box and then Submit.

Up to 40 deferrals can be requested at a time.

The agent will receive a receipt ID when they submit their request and can view the status of any requests submitted in the previous 90 days.

Processing times are as follows:

The outcome of the request will be notified through Practice mail.

If the request is approved, the deferred due date will show in Online services for agents and on the agent’s PLS client report.

If the request is declined or varied, a reason will be provided.

Reference Fade VariationReferences

See the ATO’s Online services for agents user guide for detailed instructions.

See the ATO’s promotional video featuring Assistant Commissioner, Kath Anderson.

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A quick refresher of lodgment deferrals

A lodgment deferral extends the due date for lodgment of a document. It provides additional time to lodge without incurring a failure to lodge on time penalty.

A lodgment deferral may be requested for the following obligations:

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A lodgment deferral cannot be requested for an activity statement before the ATO has generated it and made it available online.

It is not necessary to apply for a deferral if:

  • the lodgment or payment due date falls on a weekend or public holiday — the lodgment or payment can be made on the next business day
  • the due date is 15 May for tax returns — there is already an extension of time to lodge and pay to 5 June (but the agent cannot request a deferral from the 5 June concessional due date because it is not a due date under the lodgment program)
  • the agent is affected by a general or geographical issues (e.g. a natural disaster or system outage) and the ATO has advised that they do not need to make their own deferral request.

The ATO considers lodgment deferral requests in accordance with PS LA 2011/15 Lodgment obligations, due dates and deferrals.

The ATO may decline a deferral request if:

  • the client has a record of late lodgments, including poor compliance with deferred due dates
  • the ATO has started lodgment compliance action with the client
  • the agent is not listed on the ATO’s systems as the authorised agent to act of the client’s behalf.

The agent can ask the ATO to review a deferral decision within 21 days from the date on the communication varying or declining the request.

The ATO monitors lodgment performance and use of deferrals. It may contact agents who are high user of deferrals to understand the reasons for their requests.

Further resources and training

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