• Mail - further information

    Select the respective left hand navigation to return to the help page:

    • Inbox  
    • Sent items  
    • New message.  


    Mail allows you to make an enquiry to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for a number of messaging subjects. A subject expert will reply to your message, in accordance with the taxpayers’ charter service standard.

    Mail also allows you to keep track of, and manage, enquiries. You can even choose to receive an email telling you the ATO has replied to your message.

    Portal correspondence and screen reader software

    Some attachments to messages may not be compatible with screen reader software versions.

    If you receive an attachment within a message that is not compatible with your screen reader software, you can request that it be resent in an alternative format.

    To request an alternative format, contact us on 13 28 66 between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday, for help.

    To ensure that you do not experience the compatibility issue in the future, you should specify in your messages that your preference is to receive attachments in an alternative format.

    Three views – Inbox, New message and Sent items

    Mail consists of three views which help you manage all your mail functions.

    When you select Mail on the left navigation bar, you are taken to your inbox by default. You can access other Mail functions at any time by selecting one of the following sub-options:

    • The Inbox view contains all the messages you have received from the ATO – this is the view you will see by default when you select Mail from the menu.
    • The New message view is where you can send a new message to the ATO on a number of messaging subjects.
    • The Sent view will display all the sent messages, allocated messages, online forms, and transfer and refund requests you have sent to the ATO.


    If you are authorised by your administrator, there are three different views of the inbox:

    • your inbox
    • another user’s inbox
    • the business inbox.

    If you are authorised by your administrator, you can access other users’ inboxes and the business inbox by:

    • choosing an option from the drop down list
    • selecting the Change button.

    New message

    New message allows you to make an enquiry to the ATO for a number of messaging subjects. A subject expert will reply to your message, in accordance with the Taxpayers’ charter and Our commitments to service.

    There are four steps to sending a new message:

    • select the subject
    • enter the message details
    • check and send, and
    • receipt and confirmation.

    Sent items

    The Sent items screen is a list of all messages that you have sent or allocated to another user.

    It displays copies of:

    • messages sent to the ATO
    • refund and transfer requests
    • online forms, including submitted private rulings applications, objections and further information, and
    • messages allocated to other users.

    Messaging subjects

    There is a two-part process to help you select the most appropriate message subject for your enquiries:

    • browse by topic – select the topic link to choose the message subject
    • select subject – a list of the message subjects for the topic is displayed. 

    To ensure we respond to your message in a timely manner select the relevant message topic. We recommend you send a separate message for each query.

    Select the Online forms button to resolve a complex case issue

    If you wish to request an account refund or account transfer, use the links provided in the Account details screen to access the appropriate screens.

    Use Client accounts to view client account balances, transactions and summary information, and to request refunds or transfers.

    Back to top 

    View a message

    You can view messages from the inbox and the Sent items screen.

    To view a message, select the Subject link for the message.

    The View message screen displays:

    • the message contents
    • details about the selected message
    • the status of the message
    • a list of the attachments sent with the message
    • the message history – previous related messages.

    From the View message screen, you can:

    • download any attachments from the ATO
    • reply to the message (only from your inbox)
    • provide further information (only from the inbox for provision of written advice)
    • allocate the message to another user
    • delete the message
    • view the message history
    • view a print friendly version of the page.

    Attachments from the ATO are accessed by the Download buttons. You can view these immediately or save them to your computer.

    If there is a message history, only the three most recent items are shown.

    Any remaining message history is accessible using the:

    • Message history – older button
    • Message history – newer button.
    Only messages in message history can show a status of ‘Deleted’.

    Back to top 


    Messages from the ATO or allocated from other users may contain attachments.

    These attachments can be accessed when you select the Download button.

    You can:

    • view these immediately
    • save (or download) them:
      • into a nominated folder on your computer
      • in the ‘temporary internet files’ on your computer when you view the attachment.

    You will also need the following to view the downloaded files from the ATO:

    You can get additional help with opening or reading downloaded files by selecting help with attached files.

    You should access the portal only from computers:

    • to which you have exclusive use
    • that you share under the following conditions:
      • the computer is configured for multiple users
      • each person has a unique account, and
      • other users are individuals you can trust.

    You should maintain control over the details you access from this portal if you save or print them after electronically accessing them.

    You can get additional help with the security of downloaded files by selecting help with security of downloaded files.

    Back to top 

    Portal correspondence printing without ATO branding, letterhead or logo

    If you print out portal correspondence and the ATO branding is not visible, follow these steps to ensure the ATO branding displays when the document is printed:

    1. Select File.
    2. Select Print.
    3. Select Options.
    4. Choose the Drawing objects checkbox under the Include with document heading.

    Set up email notification to alert you to new mail items sent by the ATO

    You can select the email notification Setup or Change buttons on the following screens:

    • any inbox screen
    • the New message – enter message details screen
    • the Reply – enter message details screen.

    The Inbox – set email notification screen displays two options:

    • No
    • Yes – email address (default).

    To set up email notification, you must enter the email address in the field box and select the Submit button.

    We recommend that you set up email notification. You will then receive an automatic email at your nominated email address when you receive a message from the ATO in your inbox.

    Back to top 

    Delete a message

    You can delete messages from the inbox, Sent items and the View message screens.

    You will also be prompted to delete messages when you reach the messaging archive limit of 250 records. When you reach 250 records, you will not be able to send any more messages, online forms, transfers or refund requests until you have deleted old messages.

    You will receive a warning that you are reaching your limit at 230 records.

    From the inbox and Sent items screen:

    • choose the checkbox next to one or more messages
    • select the Delete button.

    All message deletions that you make are permanent. We recommend that you keep hard copies of all the records that you delete for your future reference. 

     Back to top 

Relying on our information - our commitment to you

We are committed to providing you with advice and guidance you can rely on, so we make every effort to ensure that what we give you is correct.

If you follow our advice or guidance and it turns out to be incorrect, or it is misleading and you make a mistake as a result, we will take that into account when determining what action, if any, we should take.

Some of the advice and guidance on this website applies to a specific financial year. This is clearly marked. Make sure you have the information for the right year before making decisions based on that information.

If you feel that our advice and guidance does not fully cover your circumstances, or you are unsure how it applies to you, contact us or seek professional advice.


© Australian Taxation Office for the Commonwealth of Australia

You are free to copy, adapt, modify, transmit and distribute this material as you wish (but not in any way that suggests the ATO or the Commonwealth endorses you or any of your services or products).