The Australian Taxation Office’s Electronic Commerce Interface (ECI) Client software is an application that allows businesses with an Australian Business Number (ABN) to communicate with the ATO electronically.
Some examples of the functions you can perform are:
- collecting documents/files from the ATO electronically
- sending documents/files to the ATO electronically
- checking your documents/files for errors before sending
- sending secure messages to the ATO via the Internet (Superannuation only).
To use the ECI application you need an AUSkey. AUSkey is a single key that identifies you, or your nominated representatives of your business when engaging online to government agencies.
Most file types can be tested and lodged through the File transfer function in the ATO Portals (Tax Agent, BAS Agent and Business Portals) using the same AUSkey that is required to use ECI.
The following reports should now be lodged through the portal file transfer function:
- tax file number (TFN) declaration reports
- pay as you go (PAYG) withholding annual reports, including
- PAYG withholding payment summary annual report
- PAYG withholding where ABN not quoted annual report
- PAYG withholding annual report – payments to foreign residents
- Departing Australia superannuation payments (DASP) annual report
- employee share scheme (ESS) annual reports
- Australian Investment Income Report
- Quarterly TFN reports
- Member contributions statement.
Some of the services in ECI will gradually close as clients transition to lodging through the portals and through their SBR-enabled software. However, as some of the services within ECI are not yet supported by the portals or SBR we will not remove the ECI services until there are suitable electronic alternatives available.
For information about file transfer and the file formats and versions accepted, go to www.ato.gov.au/filetransfer
Find out more about SBR at www.sbr.gov.au
ECI enables the following functions to be completed online:
- lodge super reports, including
- Assessment variation advice
- Lost members statement
- Member exit statement
- Payment variation advice
- Reasonable benefit limits
- SuperMatch request
- Unclaimed superannuation money statement
- collect super reports, including
- reasonable benefit limits
- remittance advice and recovery notice
- SuperMatch response
- surcharge provider assessment details
- lodge claims for the product stewardship for oil program
- lodge first home saver accounts reports, including
- First home saver account activity report
- First home saver account payment variation advice
- collect first home saver account reports, including
- Remittance advice and recovery notice
- Outcome of lodgment report
- lodge multiple activity statements on behalf of others (you cannot use ECI to lodge forms R, S and T).
Functions are grouped into smaller applications that are located within the ECI. There are five applications available:
Allows general businesses access to the most commonly used functions
- Activity Statements (the sub menu link to the In Tray, Out Tray and Sent Items used for the download and lodgment of activity statements
- Super Funds
Allows access to the functions listed above and allows you to send and receive Superannuation Surcharge and other general superannuation files to the ATO and to receive certain superannuation files from the ATO. You are also able to lodge Unclaimed Superannuation Money reports.
- Investment Bodies
Allows access to the functions listed above plus validation and lodgment of First Home Savers Account (FHSA) activity report and FHSA Payment Variation Advice (PVA) statement.
Links to the In Tray, Out Tray and Sent Items which can be used for the creation of Excise documents or the download and lodgment of activity statements.
- BAS Service Provider
Allows access to the activity statement functions plus the BAS Service Provider Client List and Document list.See the BAS agent FAQ for more information about access to this function.
How does ECI work?
The ECI provides digitally signed and encrypted exchange of documents and messages between the ATO and clients. Once validated, documents may be transmitted online through the ECI to the ATO. Only documents free of error will be transmitted online.
For more information about how to use the ECI, select Online Manuals on the left.
USING ELECTRONIC COMMERCE INTERFACE (ECI)
- Minimum computer requirements
- Error messages and validation reports