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: To ensure that practitioners (on behalf of their individual and business clients) experience a successful Tax Time 2016 and have access to a reliable electronic lodgment service, the ATO will extend the transition period by maintaining the Electronic Lodgement Service (ELS) Gateway until 31 March 2017.

For more information, Extended transition period for the SBR-enabled Practitioner Lodgment Service (DOCX, 243kB).

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