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EOFY backstop: ATO Lodgement Deferral Online

The more information you can give, the better.

Acknowledging the End-Of-Financial-Year 2023 busy season is soon upon us, the ATO has highlighted the new lodgement deferral function in Online services for agents which was launched in the last week of April this year is available should bookkeepers require additional time to lodge due to unforeseen or exceptional circumstances.

ATO Senior Director of Engagement and Support, Felix Manero, says that due to the streamline and intuitive manner of the new function it means that requesting a lodgement deferral has been simplified. Additionally, for requests that are agent assessed you will get the response back within just 48 hours.

“We know that June can be a challenging period for BAS agents, and we do anticipate that some might be coming to request addition time,” said Felix. “Now they will be in a much more comfortable position to prioritise clients’ books at this time with responses to deferral requests back to the agent within 48 hours.”

The more information you can give, the better.

While the process has gone online for the customer, the ATO still has real people behind the scenes making decisions on the request.

Felix highlighted that a key challenge for the ATO officer processing the request is that they are required to make an informed decision based on the facts and information provided as to why the agent is seeking additional time.

There are many occasions when this detail is limited. Some lodgement deferral requests fail to detail why they need to defer or what has been the cause, which limits the insight available to properly address and make a decision.

“It’s good to keep in mind the person making a decision on that deferral doesn’t understand the nuances or nature of the business that’s being referred to in the request and it can be difficult to make an informed decision,” said Felix.

“The more information you can put in the description the better. It’s not adequate to just say the reason for your request is ‘covid’ or ‘staffing’.”

Can lodge more than one deferral request a time.

The new function now allows agents to request up to 40 deferrals at a time, you can also see what lodgment deferral you have submitted in the last 90 days. It interacts live with ATO systems to pre-populate information for the client/s agents are seeking a deferral for, saving agents time, and ensuring the ATO has more accurate information to process the request.

“We’re releasing a series of how-to videos, which will be a good visual step by step,” said Felix. “I encourage people to ease any unnecessary stress if they feel they really do need extra time.”  

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