To prepare for tax time, we recommend the following

  • Update your client list – It is important that you undertake regular reviews of your client list to add any new clients and to remove those you no longer represent. Lodging a final return or advising a further return is not necessary does not remove the client from your list. You can add or remove clients, or update existing clients’ details, using the practitioner lodgment service or the Tax Agent Portal.
  • Check your clients’ lodgment program due dates – The lodgment due dates for all of your clients will be available on the Tax Agent Portal by the end of July. If your clients have one or more prior year tax returns outstanding as at 30 June, their current year tax return due date is 31 October. If all overdue prior year returns are lodged by 31 October, the current year tax return will be due as per your lodgment program. The updated due date can take up to three weeks after 31 October to appear on your client list. If you have clients who have been prosecuted for non-lodgment of prior year returns, then the current year tax return due date may have changed. Lodgment and payment due dates may change where your client circumstances change – for example, the tax level may be affected if a prior year amendment is processed. If your client list does not display a due date for lodgment, or you are unsure of your client’s lodgment due date, phone us on 13 72 86 Fast Key Code 1 3 2 for clarification.
  • Advise us if a return is not necessary – If your client is not required to lodge a tax return for a particular year or ever, advise us so you can avoid:
  1. Compliance action that may take place once the return is overdue
  2. Preparation, lodgment and processing of a nil return.

The best way to advise us that a return is not necessary or further returns are not necessary is to use the Tax Agent Portal or the practitioner lodgment service.

If no further returns are required, you also need to remove the client from your client list.

  • Review security to help stop fraud – Criminals may target your practice to access your clients’ information to obtain fraudulent refunds. They may also try to trick you into clicking on links or opening attachments that install malware or ransomware on your computer systems.

Review your security procedures to help stop fraud and protect your clients and your practice.

We recommend you:

  1. Check the proof of identity for all new clients and question discrepancies before you prepare and lodge their returns
  2. Ensure your computer security systems are up to date and you are protected against cyber attacks
  3. Review staff access, cancel AUSkeys for anyone who shouldn’t have one and update passwords

talk to your clients and staff about the importance of keeping personal information secure (including user IDs, passwords and tax file numbers)

  1. Exercising caution when clicking on downloads, hyperlinks or opening attachments in unsolicited or unfamiliar emails, SMS or social media.

The lodgment due dates for your clients will be available on the Tax Agent Portal by the end of July 2018.

We will start full processing of 2017–18 tax returns on 6 July 2018 and expect to start paying refunds from 17 July 2018.

When setting up appointments with your clients, remind them to provide the information you need to prepare and lodge their tax returns, including:

  • Personal identification
  • Australian financial institution account details
  • Medicare card or number
  • Private health insurance statement
  • Spouse details, including details of income.