Electronic lodgment service

The electronic lodgment service (ELS) receives electronic returns from agents who transmit data to the ELS document interchange system and ELS validation application. These operate on our corporate external gateway computers and we call this the gateway.

Before transmission, data items are assembled into a continuous sequence of characters called an ‘electronic data file’. The file contains all the information included in an electronic return. A number of such files, together with a transmitter identification file (called the ‘TXID file’), make up a transmission.

Software that prepares files must subject them to specified edit tests before transmission. Returns containing errors must be corrected before transmission to the gateway. Returns must not be sent to us until they have passed all edit tests.

When transmissions are received by the gateway, the transmitting agency is sent a transmission report that tells them which files were received. The return files are validated and those that pass are sent for further processing. We send you a validation report that tells you which return files contain errors, the nature of those errors and which returns were accepted. You must correct and re-send any returns with errors.

Note: As we transition to the new practitioner lodgment service (PLS), access to the ELS gateway remains available to be incorporated into software as a safety net until defined form transition dates.

For more information, refer to Practitioner lodgment service contingency.

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