Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

Just in case you see the ATO advertising and want to know whether you care: Today, you don’t. In the future we should be using parts of the PLS system, but frankly, you won’t even know.

It is the project name for the change of the ELS (Electronic Lodgement System) that is used, mostly, inside Tax Agent Software to lodge forms with the ATO.

The ATO are spending (too much) resource on promoting the new PLS system to you. BAS Agents don’t need to know. We have had very little practice management software that uses the old technology.

Xero and GovReports lodgement of BAS all use the new SBR / PLS system.

Even for the Tax Agent community the PLS system is simply taking over how their software lodges with the ATO. In most software you will not even know the system of lodgement has changed.


Currently the big change over date is scheduled for 31 March, 2017. The ATO have declared they will turn off ELS for accepting all things and its ELS reporting system as of that date.

We don’t believe it.

Our understanding is that there is a significant GAP between all the current functions in ELS and what the ATO are able to provide in PLS. Therefore, there will be some changes as of 31 March but after that it will be progressive.

Do We Care?


The positive: The new system will be better and allow a far more effective interaction with the ATO. This will enhance much of the lodgement systems BAS Agents are using today and provide further features going forward.

The Caution #1: The ATO are doing a major (as in huge) computer change over the Christmas / New Year period. Their computers will not be working for any purpose. They are doing a major shift between systems and within the systems. So major change no 1 is major upheaval inside ATO systems. Be warned and also work with the ATO if you notice anything strange in January.

The Caution #2: PLS takes over from ELS as of 31 March 2017 and following, therefore the entire lodgement system will be changed as of that date. We do note that about 5% of current year tax return lodgements are already going through PLS. (Total returns lodged over 5 million).

  • Dated: 31st March, 2017