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27 Mar 14 On FBT returns and the 85% lodgment requirement - the ATO responds

In 2014 TAXVINE No 6 (14 March 2014), Member 20 commented that because they had been required by the ATO to lodge 4 years' of FBT returns for a client (notwithstanding that the requirement to lodge the returns was being disputed), they could never meet the 85% lodgment requirement because of the small number of FBT returns handled by the Member's practice. The ATO now responds:

"This year (2014), we have listened to agent requests and continued to roll out initiatives providing further assistance. We have advised tax agents of the recent change providing an additional 4 weeks, to lodge their clients’ FBT returns, provided they lodge electronically, that is until 25 June 2014.

We advertised this change on 14 January in News and updates for tax professionals and the Tax professionals newsletter on 16 January: Tax FBT return lodgment date change. It was also picked up and advertised by the associations. A reminder about the FBT change is scheduled to be published in News and Updates for tax professionals on 31 March.

To further support this change, on 6 March we also sent just under 35,000 letters direct to clients of agents who did not lodge or were late in lodging their previous FBT return. The letter reminded them of their obligation and advised them to contact and provide their agent with information as early as possible.

It is important to remind all agents that the on-time lodgment performance is based on current year lodgments only.

With reference to the prior year FBT returns that Member 20 lodged for a client, only the current year return for that client will affect their 2014 performance. Previous outstanding lodgments are not included in the calculation of on-time lodgment.

If a client’s return is held for an ATO review, we use the original document’s ‘received date’ when calculating the lodgment program performance. The time taken to review a client’s return will not affect their lodgment program performance percentage, provided the original document was lodged on-time.

For more information about the Lodgment program, refer to our website:

Lodgment program framework

How we calculate your lodgment performance

Frequently asked questions