Software developer support for the file transfer facility

This page provides information on registering for and accessing the software developers' File transfer test facility (the test facility). The test facility allows you to  validate or test a file for submitting to the ATO via the ATO portals.

Find out more:

Non-ASCII character translation conversion list

As BDE cannot process non-ASCIIs characters, a find and replace solution has been proposed and is scheduled to be deployed into production in December 2015.

  • When a file has been accepted by BDE - prior to the validation process - the translation and conversion process gets run.
  • This non-ASCII character pre-check is against a defined list of special characters.
  • If a conversion is required, a notification that a specific record has be changed due to the detection of a non-ASCII character is communicated back to the user as a warning message in the validation report.

View the non-ASCII character translation conversion list (DOCX, 36kB).

FAQs

Testing
What's changing?
Where can I test my files for software development purposes?
How do I get a user id and password for the test facility?
Will the validation process be the same in the test facility?
Can I continue to use the ECI practice facility?
Does it matter if I use ECI practice facility and my clients use the ATO portals, or if I use the file transfer test facility and they use ECI?
How do clients lodge their bulk files through the portal?

 

Files
When will new files be supplied in the test facility?

What files will be accepted through the portal?

Where can I get more help and support?

TESTING

What's changing?

Previously, clients not lodging reports and forms through the ATO portals either used ECI or sent lodgments via physical media. Physical media is no longer accepted and the services in ECI are gradually closing as the services are made available in our preferred online channels which are the ATO Portals or through SBR-enabled software.

Online lodgment services are available to businesses and intermediaries through the file transfer function in the ATO Portals. Access to the portals requires an AUSkey.

Future evolutionary steps to support ATO's online strategic channels include:

  • introducing new interactions and file formats to support Super Reform and other government initiatives
  • transitioning remaining interactions supported on legacy channels (eg ECI, MIPS, and ELS)
  • providing bulk services through SBR-enabled business management software

More information:

Where can I test my files for software development purposes?

Software developers should not use the portals to test files (portal access is provided for your business interactions with the ATO as a taxpayer and an AUSkey is required).

A test facility has been provided to software developers. Login is via a user Id and password.

Note: The test facility supports the latest versions of the specifications for testing purposes. It cannot be used to make lodgments to the ATO.

How do I get a user ID and password for the test facility?

To obtain a user ID and password for the test facility complete the File transfer test facility registration form.

Will the validation process be the same in the test facility?

The same validation process will be executed for files lodged via the test facility as for lodgments via the portals.

To test a file:

  1. prepare the files using your software in accordance with the published file specifications
  2. log in to the test facility using your user Id and password
  3. submit files to the ATO, where it will be checked for format compatibility and data quality
  4. confirm the file has been uploaded by viewing the transfer history while the file is validated for errors and warnings in the background
  5. download a validation report confirming the data is in a valid format or detailing any errors found.

Can I continue to use the ECI practice facility?

Yes. However, only reports that are accepted by ECI can be tested in the ECI practice facility.

Does it matter if I use ECI practice facility and my clients use the ATO portals, or if I use the file transfer test facility and they use ECI?

No. You can use either the ECI practice facility or the file transfer test facility to test the file your software produces and your clients can use either ECI or the ATO portals to lodge. However, the format and structure of the validation reports as well as the wording of the error messages differ between the ECI practice facility and the file transfer test facility.

The only other limitation is in regards to the application that supports the file type (for example, the Taxable payments annual report will not be available to test or lodge via ECI).

How do clients lodge their bulk files through the portal?

For more information on how clients can lodge and test their files through our secure online portals using AUSkey:

FILES

When will new files be supplied in the test facility?

New files will typically be available for testing by software developers through the file transfer test facility some weeks or months ahead of when the files are made available to clients through our portals.

What files will be accepted through the portal?

For a full list of files which can be lodged through portal refer to File transfer.

Subscribe to 'Online Services' to receive free email updates and be notified of updates to the file transfer function.

Where can I get more help and support?

For support in the use of test facility, including password reset:

More information: