• Definitions

    Some of the terms used on the portal are described below. To view a description, select the letter your term begins with and scroll down.

    For more definitions, refer to Definitions  

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    A record of financial transactions.

    Accounting transaction 

    A financial transaction recording an obligation or payment amount for a particular date.

    Agent for tax purposes 

    An agent for tax purposes is someone you have specifically appointed to conduct certain transactions with us on your behalf. Those transactions done by your agent on your behalf are binding on you as if you had done them yourself. Your agent cannot be paid anything for these services unless they are a registered tax agent or BAS agent.

    Amended general interest charge (GIC) 

    Amendments to GIC imposed on accounts and subsequently either reduced or increased by variation or amendment.

    Amended period general interest charge (GIC) 

    An amendment period is a period in which GIC needs to be recalculated. It occurs as a result of a retrospective change to the account balance.


    A person identified by a corporate or organisational client as being associated with that client.

    Associate – with respect to goods and services tax (GST) in activity statements 

    Includes people and entities closely associated with you, such as relatives, or closely connected companies or trusts. A partner in a partnership is an associate of the partnership.

    Associate details 

    The name and position held by an associate of a corporate or organisational client.

    Australian Company Number (I) 

    The number allocated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) when a body becomes registered as a company.

    Australian private company 

    Private companies are usually proprietary companies.

    Australian public company 

    An entity that is (or is a subsidiary of) an Australian:

    • company listed in a stock exchange
    • statutory corporation, co-operative, non-profit or mutual life assurance company, or friendly society dispensary
    • company that a statutory corporation, or the federal or a state or territory government, has a controlling interest in.

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    Branch number 

    A unique identifier we allocate for each branch of a parent entity – see Branching. 


    An entity splitting its pay as you go (PAYG) income tax withholding (ITW) or GST reporting and remitting responsibilities between branches.

    Refer to GST branches.


    A business is often referred to as an enterprise and includes the activities of entities such as charities, and religious and government organisations.

    Business address 

    The street address where the main business activity takes place.

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    An entity, for example an individual, company, business or agent, with whom we interact in some way.

    Closing balance 

    The total value of all account transactions processed on or before the record of transactions end date. This balance is not displayed for a completed financial year statement.

    Commencement date 

    The date an entity is registered with us. Different dates may apply where entities act in different capacities; for example, if the entity is also a trustee.

    Completed financial year 

    To display all processed transactions on an account that applies to the relevant financial year.

    A transaction is included in a financial year if either of the following applies:

    • it has information that falls within that financial year
    • if the effective date falls within that financial year where no period information exists.

    Contact details 

    The personal details of a person authorised by a business entity or individual to view, add or change their taxation accounts.

    Credit amount 

    The amount of a credit transaction.

    Current financial year 

    The processed transactions on an account from the beginning of the current financial year to the current day.

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    Debit amount 

    The amount of a debit transaction.

    Digital signature 

    The user's identity when conducting a digital transaction, such as agreeing to data transmitted to us.

    Dispute accounts 

    This account identifies liability postings and associated payments.

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    Established date 

    The date the superannuation fund or trust was established.

    Estimated general interest charge (GIC) 

    The GIC applicable on an account’s closing balance up to the anticipated payout date.

    Estimated amended general interest charge (GIC) 

    Estimated amended GIC is an amount of GIC that is:

    • calculated but not posted to the account
    • subject to further change if amendments are made to the account before GIC is actually posted.

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    Financial acquisitions threshold 

    You may be able to claim GST credits for your purchases that relate to making your financial supplies if both of the following apply:

    • you make your financial supplies without exceeding the financial acquisitions threshold – for example, your total sales include only a small amount of financial supplies
    • you have a tax invoice for each of your purchases.

    Financial institution details 

    Details of the financial institution your client has elected to have their refunds or credits paid to.

    Fringe benefits tax instalments  

    An instalment of FBT paid each quarter by the employer. FBT instalments are dealt with as part of the activity statements used for other obligations, such as:

    • ITW
    • income tax instalments (ITI)
    • GST.

     Fuel tax credit (FTC) 

    A credit for fuel tax (excise duty) included in the price of fuel, when used for specified activities.

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    Goods and services tax (GST) group  

    A group of entities we approve to account for GST as if they were a single entity.

    Government organisation type 

    A type of entity – specifically a local, federal, territory or state government body.

    Group member 

    A member of a group registration. Members can either be the reporting member or a non-reporting member.

     Group registration 

    A group registration is a number of entities that are linked because of common ownership who wish to centralise the administration of their GST obligations.

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    Immediate holding company 

    A company that has majority ownership of, or has controlling interests in, the operator of another company.

     Income tax account 

    The account that records income tax assessment balances.

    Income tax withholding 

    Amounts withheld from particular payments or transactions.

     Input taxed sales 

    A sale is input taxed if it is of a type specified in the law as input taxed. Two of the most common types of input taxed sales are: financial supplies and supplies of certain residential premises by way of rent or sale.

    Insolvency accounts 

    Where a taxpayer becomes insolvent, their existing principal/branch account is changed to an insolvency account and a new principal/branch is created to administer liabilities outside the period of insolvency.

     Integrated client account (ICA) 

    The account that records the client’s:

    • activity statement obligations
    • payments for PAYG withholding made by large entities, franking deficit tax etc.

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    Legal action accounts 

    An account set up to identify amounts subject to legal action from other amounts held on the originating account.

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    Opening balance 

    The total value of all account transactions processed before the record of transactions start date. This balance is not displayed for a completed financial year statement.

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    PAYG withholding 

    Amounts withheld from particular payments or transactions.

    Payout amount 

    The amount of the client’s outstanding tax debt, including estimated GIC when paid on a selected payout date.

    Payout date 

    The date used to calculate the estimated GIC amount for the payout amount.

    Payout summary 

    A snapshot of a client account, including opening and closing balances, estimated GIC and the payout amount.

    Postal address 

    The address provided by a client to contact that client by mail. The postal address may be:

    • a PO Box address
    • a street address
    • an authorised contact’s address
    • a registered agent’s address.

    Legal notices and activity statements will be sent to this address.

    Process date 

    The date a transaction is processed and placed on the account, which is often different to the date the transaction takes effect.

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    Registered agent number 

    A unique number allocated to a tax agent or BAS agent when registered by the Tax Practitioners Board.

    Registered office address 

    The address of a company’s registered office – often the address of a company’s lawyer, accountant or registered agent.

    Reporting period 

    The GST tax period, which can be monthly, quarterly or annual.

    Residential address 

    An individual’s home address.

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    Substituted accounting period (SAP) 

    An accounting period that has a different balancing date to the normal balancing date of 30 June.

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    Tax type summary 

    A list of the tax obligations registered for the selected account of the client. For accounting purposes, it is a summary of the transactions on the account, summarised by tax type and interest amounts processed during the selected income year.

    Total net assessable interest income 

    The sum of all assessable interest income on an account throughout the year – to be reported as assessable income on an income tax return.

    Total net deductible interest expense 

    The sum of all deductible interest expense on an account throughout the year – to be reported as deductions on an income tax return.

    Trading name 

    The name an entity uses to trade. An entity may have more than one trading name.

    Trust beneficiary accounts 

    These accounts require the same accounting functionality as that applicable to the main trust account.


    A person who holds property or income on trust for another.

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    Ultimate holding company 

    The company in a group of companies that has majority ownership of or controlling interests in the other companies in the group.

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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

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