Software services

This page provides information for developers of tax and superannuation software.

Summary

We are increasing software services to allow you to create digital infrastructure and services that will enable users to interact with us seamlessly online, while remaining in your software, rather than transitioning to our systems.

This will include new and improved functionality, as well as making current portal functions available for you to build into your products. Services for business and practice management software will be developed using an agile methodology and iterative delivery.

We recognise that you play an essential role integrating the community into the tax and super system. We are committed to supporting you to enhance your wholesale offering and build in more services that will add value and enhance your users' experience.

For us to meet your software requirements, varying levels of your involvement is needed, some features will require feedback where as others will need more complex co-design. These are noted in the table below.

Some of the features under development include:

  • Client communication
  • Communication preference capability
  • Visibility and maintenance of client details
  • Visibility and maintenance of activity statement registration information

Status

19 August 2016

Issues preventing deployment into production – many client management features have been made available to you through specifications on sbr.gov.au. For most of these features, you are able to build and test the services, however you may not be able to move to production just yet. We are progressing a range of checks and will keep you up to date with all progress made via this webpage, your Account Manager and the Software developers newsletter. If you’re not yet subscribed to the newsletter, subscribe here.  

Features list

Below is a list of features available in the External Vendor Testing Environment (EVTE).

Available features in EVTE:

New features being progressed:

Available features in EVTE

You can also access all of our practitioner lodgment service technical documents and specifications on sbr.gov.au.

View and maintain client lists

Available

Feature

Technical specifications

You can now build and test this service.

We will inform you when you can move to production.

You can build a user service for tax professionals to view and maintain an agent client list, including searching, adding and deleting client details. This is a foundational service that allows you to streamline and tailor other practice management services. Partial functionality is available through the income tax and activity statement lodgment reports in the practitioner lodgment service.

User benefits:

  • Ability to keep practice management lists up to date, which will also assist with lodgment program concessions.
  • Ability to identify which accounts the agent number is authorised against for their client (for example, income tax or activity statement).
  • Streamlining services through ‘natural’ systems to make the experience of interacting with us as natural as possible.

Client Update (CU) including Client update relationships – CUREL & CRSRCH

Account list view – new version

Available

Feature

Technical specifications

You can now build and test this service.

We will inform you when you can move to production.

You can build a user service to view additional tax and super accounts (and roles) that were not previously made available in the initial account list service. This includes a view of current and overdue account balances.

User benefits:

  • Provides complete visibility of accounts held with us.
  • Eliminating the need to contact us to request details of accounts.
  • Streamlining services through ‘natural’ systems to make the experience of interacting with us as natural as possible.

Account list (ACCLST)

 

Role list (ROLELST)

 

Transaction list view – new version

Available

Feature

Technical specifications

You can now build and test this service.

We will inform you when you can move to production.

You can build a user service to view and filter the transactions associated with the extended account list service. This includes transactions associated to particular tax or super roles within the account.

User benefits:

  • Provides complete visibility of client transactions listed against their accounts and roles held with us.
  • Providing the ability to view a digital statement of account and eliminating the need to contact us to request a copy.
  • Streamlining services through ‘natural’ systems to make the experience of interacting with us as natural as possible.
  • Supporting accurate record keeping and early identification of any discrepancies.

Transaction list (TXLST)

Role list (ROLELST)

 

Client communication

Available

Feature

Technical specifications

You can now build and test this service in EVTE. A fix is required in production.* We will inform you when you can certify for this service.

This service will allow your tax professional users to remain in your software and view an electronic copy of most of the communications we issue to them. Additional communications will be incorporated over time.

This feature is similar to the current service available in the Tax and BAS Agent Portal ‘Client communication list’.

Building this feature will allow your tax professional users to:

  • access their client’s letters, emails, SMS and myGov messages from within your software
  • access up to five years of communications
  • input parameters to filter, sort and search across multiple fields to find what they need.

Client communication (CC)

 

Outcome of individual income tax returns assessment details (2016)

Available

Feature

Technical specifications

You can build and test this service. We will inform you when you can move to production.

The new service will allow your tax agent users to view details of how we calculate their individual client’s tax return assessment via your software from the 2016-17 financial year onwards.

Currently tax agents can use the final notice of assessment and statement of account to review differences between the client’s expected and final assessment. This enhancement is designed to provide agents a view of our tax return assessment process and to understand where adjustments were made during our calculation of the assessment.

By offering this additional service through your software your clients can better compare and validate the outcome of assessment with the expected estimate at lodgment.

This information is not available in the portal and is not dependent on lodgment channel. The service will be released in two phases.

The first draft specifications for the Outcome of tax return assessment detail (ASMT) are available.

 

Payment plans

Available

Feature

Technical specifications

You can build and test this service.

We will inform you when you can move to production.

This will allow individuals, non-individuals or their representatives to view and create payment plans for activity statement and income tax debt.

Tax professionals, individuals and businesses arranged more than 800,000 payment plans in 2014-15. In the first six months of 2015-16, more than 420,000 payment plans have been granted.

If you decide to build this service, your clients will be able to:

  • view active payment plans, including the instalment schedule
  • assess their eligibility for a payment plan
  • create, review and submit the payment plan, including selecting the account, amount, payment method, instalment schedule and general interest charge.

Payment plan (PMTPLN)

 

 

Lodgment and payment deferral requests

Available

Feature

Technical specifications

You can build and test this service.

We will inform you when you can move to production.

More than 58,000 requests for lodgment deferrals were received from tax professionals last year.

By choosing to build this user service, tax professionals will be able to request a lodgment deferral via your software without needing to switch to the portal. This means your clients will have their deferrals approved and processed in real time (provided all the requirements are met) – surpassing our current 28 day processing timeframe.

Currently tax professionals are limited in how they can submit deferrals – portal mail is their only option. This is a non-digital process that can take up to 28 days for us to process.

Lodgment deferrals are valuable to your tax professional users, particularly where extenuating circumstance mean they cannot lodge their clients returns by the lodgment due date.  

Update deferral (DFRL)

 

 

 

 

Account list

Available

Feature

Technical specifications

You can build and test this service.

We will inform you when you can move to production.

You can build an account listing service that includes:

  • the current balance
  • the due and payable balance, including any applied general interest charge
  • enables general interest charge estimate based on future date for each account retrieved.

Account list (ACCLST)

 

Transaction list

Available

Feature

Technical specifications

You can build and test this service.

We will inform you when you can move to production.

You can build a transaction listing service that includes:

  • Transactions listed in processed date for a date range including opening and running balance.
  • Transactions by effective date for a given date range.

Transaction list (TXLST)

 

Lodgment list

Available

Feature

Technical specifications

You can build and test this service.

We will inform you when you can move to production.

You can build an account listing that includes:

  • list of expected due/overdue forms and payment dates
  • lodgment history.

Lodgment list (LDGLST)

 

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New features being progressed

The following features are being developed. The priority order is subject to change based on feedback, consultation and organisational priorities.

View and maintain client demographics

Tentative availability

Feature

Involvement needed

Partial availability December 2016.

Remainder 2017.

You can build user services to view, create and update our registered information stored for each appropriate tax and super account. This includes financial institution details, addresses and authorised contacts and displays current and historical information. Partial functionality is available through the practitioner lodgment service for client updates.

User benefits

  • Ability to manage client account information ensuring accurate records at a time convenient for them.
  • Ability to quickly and easily maintain multiple details through bulk processes.
  • Eliminating the need to contact us, as this service was previously managed over the phone.
  • Streamlining services through ‘natural’ systems to make the experience of interacting with us as natural as possible.

Co-design

Activity statement role registration and maintenance

Tentative availability

Feature

Involvement needed

TBA 2017

You can build a user service to view, add, update and cancel role registration details for activity statements. This includes adding and removing GST, PAYG withholding and other roles, changing accounting method and lodgment cycle. Partial functionality is available through the practitioner lodgement service for client updates.

User benefits:

  • Ability to manage activity statement account information ensuring accurate records at a time convenient for them.
  • Eliminating the need to contact us, as this service was previously managed over the phone.
  • Streamlining services through ‘natural’ systems to make the experience of interacting with us as natural as possible.

Co-design

Client communication preferences

Tentative availability

Feature

Involvement needed

TBA 2017

You can build a user service that allows preferences to be set for clients that advise us and control who should be notified of communications and correspondence. This is new functionality still in development and is not currently available in any ATO systems.

You can read our research findings on the Communication preference feature.

User benefits:

  • Tax professionals and clients have visibility of all communications issued by us.
  • Tax professionals have the ability to advise us which tax and super matters they are managing on behalf of their clients.
  • Communication can be tailored and addressed to the right audience.

Due to the complexity, this feature may be developed in various increments based on co-design and feedback.

Co-design

 

 

 

View of lodgment list and due date

Tentative availability

Feature

Involvement needed

TBA 2017

You can build a user service to view tax and super obligations related to historical and upcoming lodgment and payment due dates (statutory, concessional and deferred). Partial functionality is available through the practitioner lodgment service for lodgment list and reports.

User benefits:

  • Greater visibility of all client lodgment and payment obligations.
  • Streamlining services through ‘natural’ systems to make the experience of interacting with us as natural as possible.

To be confirmed

ATO system status and issues

Tentative availability

Feature

Involvement needed

TBA 2017

You can access real time information regarding the status of ATO systems and alerts about major outages and other urgent issues to build into software.

Co-design

Progress of income tax returns

Tentative availability

Feature

Involvement needed

TBA 2017

You can build a user service that tracks the progress of an income tax return for individuals and non-individuals, including the details of why the assessment is held and an expected finalisation date.

Co-design

Copies of income tax returns and other obligations

Tentative availability

Feature

Involvement needed

TBA 2017

You can build a user service that provides a view of historical lodgment information including tax returns, fringe benefit tax returns and payment summaries.

Co-design

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Feedback and questions

For more information contact SIPO@ato.gov.au.

Find out more:

Software services working group