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In relation to the meeting of the Lodgment Working Group that was held on Monday 27 August 2012, the ATO has issued the following key messages in relation to the Lodgment Program Framework (transitional year).
The Lodgment Working Group continues to progress through the three year plan for development of a new Lodgment Program framework.
During 2011-12 the Lodgment Working Group worked on creating a fair assessment of lodgment performance through a range of workshops and meetings. The key elements were:
  • lodging 85% of current year income tax returns on time; and
  • all income tax returns lodged electronically.
So far this year (2012-13 - the transition year) the Working Group have clarified how we will measure performance against the key elements. 
In relation to the 85%:
  • the on time lodgment percentage measure is calculated from the total number of clients listed with the ATO, as viewed on the Tax Agent Portal;
  • the 15% leeway recognises that tax agents will always have some of their clients that ‘just turn up’; and
  • “on time” means current year returns by the statutory due date or by the approved deferred due date, as well as any Further Returns Not Necessary (FRNN) and Returns Not Necessary (RNN) recorded.
In relation to what is electronic, our consultation has assisted in identifying any issues and this has lead us to exclude:
  • clients who have an early balancing substituted accounting period; and
  • returns that are lodged before the end of a financial year, including
    • date of death returns for deceased clients lodged before the end of the period; and
    • returns lodged early for clients who are leaving Australia.
We have visited a range of practices, including larger and regional practices, to trial ways of showing current performance, identify issues and gather a range of best practices and suggestions.
The next part of our work is focused on:
  • Assisting tax agents with cleaning their client list.  We have a bulk client deletion offer available for use via the Tax Agent Portal. The offer opened on 6 September 2012 and will continue until 31 October 2012.
  • Co-designing a process to advise tax agents of their performance in relation to meeting the requirements of the Lodgment Program.
  • Contacting 1700 tax agents regarding their lodgment compliance.
Our relationship management program staff are available to visit tax agent practices where they need to discuss the requirements of the program in relation to their own practice and prepare their practice for the program in 2013-14. A visit can be arranged by calling 13 72 86 FKC 322.
Members who seek further information in relation to the above should contact us at Tax Policy