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ATO moves to decommission spreadsheet TBAR form

August 22, 2019

Tax agents will soon no longer be allowed to lodge transfer balance account reports through a spreadsheet form as the ATO mandates a move to its online services for agents.


From 31 October 2019, the ATO will stop processing spreadsheet versions of the transfer balance account report (TBAR).


Instead, it will redirect tax agents to online services for agents, where an online form has been made available since March this year.


“While the spreadsheet solution allowed us to provide an electronic option for some agents when they commenced their transfer balance account reporting, it is linked to a higher error rate associated with reverse workflow for agents and slower processing times,” said the ATO.


According to the ATO, the online TBAR form has a number of advantages for tax agents over paper lodgements and the interim spreadsheet option, including pre-filling the supplier and provider details with your details and your SMSF client details, and pre-filling the member details for second and subsequent events for the same member.


It also boasts inbuilt verification rules to reduce reporting errors and reverse workflow and a 24-hour processing time, with tax agents able to see that information reflected in the member’s transfer balance account at the same time.


With the spreadsheet being decommissioned after midnight of 31 October, it will be unlikely to affect the next quarterly due date on 28 October 2019.


The ATO’s new online services for agents is now the main service channel for tax and BAS agents, following the end of the public beta this week.