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Lodging using AUSkey

What you need to know:

The ATO is decommissioning AUSkey on 27 March 2020. See AUSkey decommissioning on the ATO website for more details.
  • If you’re using Lodgment Manager to lodge, you don’t need to do anything.
  • If you're using AUSkey Authentication to lodge, you can’t lodge after 27 March 2020. Talk to your client manager about how to upgrade your practice.

    Have any questions? Contact us.

Accountants Enterprise only

This page contains information on lodging using AUSkey. For more information on setting up your environment for AUSkey lodgment, see AUSkey setup.

Adding new clients prior to lodgment

Prior to lodging a form for a client in PLS, you need to ensure that the client has been added to your ATO client list. If the client is not on your client list, the lodgment will not be accepted by the ATO.

This process differs from ELS: lodging a form in ELS automatically created the link between the client and agent.Lodging a return

To lodge a return using AUSkey
  1. Go to LodgmentElectronic > Tag for Lodgment.

  2. Select the returns you want to lodge by double-clicking, or highlighting the return and clicking Select.

  3. After selecting the returns, click Output. The returns will be validated again and prepared for Lodgment to the ATO.

  4. When the Connect to the ATO screen opens, you can see which returns will be lodged by clicking List returns to send. This will also tell you the number of returns to be lodged.

  5. When you have confirmed you have the correct Agent(s) selected and returns to be lodged, click Connect now. The AUSkey password screen opens.

  6. Enter your password. If the password is correct, the row will be marked with a green tick. Click OK.


If you are lodging for multiple agents, each agent will need to enter their password on this screen.

An icon displays on the Taskbar with a message showing the number of returns being lodged, and the number of returns remaining. See Lodgment transmission status below for more information.

Once lodgment has completed, you can view the Validation report by opening each return. See Validation reports below for more information.

If the ATO is not available, the software will continue attempting to lodge the return. No action is required from you — lodgment will commence automatically once the ATO is available.

Lodgment transmission status

Progress of the transmission is shown via the Lodgment Status balloon notification in your Windows Taskbar.

The balloon notification appears after entering a valid AUSkey password and clicking OK. It may pop-up and disappear quickly, depending on batch size or issues encountered, so we advise checking this regularly.

If the icon is visible on the task bar, hover over the icon or click the icon to open it. When the icon is no longer visible on the task bar, the lodgment is complete.


The balloon displays the number of returns to be processed and fades into the background after a few seconds.

To review the status, hover over the Lodgment Status icon.

The SBR return status is updated automatically once the return has been sent to the ATO and a response received. It is not necessary to read the Validation report if the status shows as Lodged.

Cancelling the lodgment

If you wish to cancel the lodgment, right-click on the SBR Lodgment icon in the Windows Taskbar, and click Cancel.

If the return has been lodged with the ATO, you will not receive a response after cancelling. Wait an hour and check on the ATO Portal before attempting to lodge again. If the return has lodged, manually update the return status to Lodged.

Validation reports

When a return receives a response from the ATO, it is either accepted or rejected. This response is reflected in the return as a change in status and the details included in the validation report. There is one validation report per return per lodgment.

To access the validation report, click Print Validation Report from the Homepage, or click the Print Validation Report icon in the return (shown below).


When the return is accepted, the validation report will contain a line stating 'RETURNS ACCEPTED' with the return TFN, name, year and form type. The validation report does not need to be printed as it is stored with the return.

If the report is rejected, the validation report will contain the reason for its rejection. You can use this information to determine what adjustments to the return are required to successfully lodge the return.

Each validation report from an SBR PLS lodgment is received as a single document that refers to a particular return. This differs from ELS where they were received in a batch.

Comms log

The Comms log can be useful in determining what went wrong during the lodgment process. This is a text log that provides the following information:

  • When a lodgment occurred.

  • The software version.

  • Whether the AUSkeys were successfully authenticated.

  • How many returns were sent in the lodgment.

A running total of the last 10 lodgments are stored in the comms log.

To access the Comms log:

  1. In Windows Explorer, navigate to the folder containing the Comms log (E:\SOL64\SBR\Comms or C:\MYOBAE\AESQL\Tax\SBR\Comms by default).

  2. Open the last modified file.

Each return has one of the following statuses:





The return is being prepared to be sent to the ATO.


The return is being sent to the ATO.


A response has been received for the return and it has been either accepted or rejected.


An error occurred and the return was not successfully completed.


The user cancelled the lodgment and these returns did not receive a response from the ATO.

Troubleshooting AUSkeys

To troubleshoot the setup or activation of AUSkeys, see the ATO website.


Troubleshooting steps

I can’t find my AUSkey.

Your AUSkey is usually located in %APPDATA%/AUSkey by default.

If you are unable to access the ATO Portal, it's possible you don't have an AUSkey installed on your system.

You may have an AUSkey on a portable device, such as a USB. Make sure this is attached the PC.

My AUSkey has expired.

AUSkeys can expire if they have not been used for an extended period of time.

Check the expiry date of your AUSkey by right clicking on the AUSkey and selecting Edit. The two fields <notBefore> and <notAfter> determine the valid date range for your AUSkey.

If your AUSkey has expired, apply for a new AUSkey with the ATO.

See the ATO website’s section on Device AUSkeys for more information.

I can't select my AUSKey, the ABN does not match.

Check the ABN of your AUSkey by right clicking on the AUSkey and selecting Edit. The ABN is located in a field called <abn>.

This ABN needs to match the ABN entered in the Practice or the Agent ABN field (depending on whether the Practice AUSKey or Agent AUSKey has been selected).

When I lodge, I can't see the lodgment icon.

The lodgment icon is located in the Windows taskbar. Check to see if it is hidden by expanding the taskbar.

When I lodge, there are more returns sent to the ATO than I lodged.

A previous lodgment that did not complete may not have been cleared before the next lodgment.

At the end of the lodgment, check the \Tax\IpSbr\SbrWorking folder and ensure it is empty.

The icon has turned orange or red and nothing is lodging.

An error has occurred. Check the latest Comms log to see what error has occurred or what responses are being received from the ATO.

I cancelled a lodgment and when I lodged again, the ATO said the return was lodged already.

The response from the ATO may still be pending. Wait for 60 minutes and check if the return in the lodgment has been lodged successfully on the ATO Portal before lodging again.

I can't view the validation report for 2014 and prior returns.

The 'Print Validation Report' button is only available in 2015 and 2016. To review the validation reports for years prior to this, open the latest tax year and go to Lodgment > Electronic > SBR Reports.

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