Sector notice 04 August 2017
TFN verification & reporting to the ATO
The first transfer of 2017 HELP debts to the ATO is now complete. What does this mean for you?
The pilot testing phase of the implementation of the new MQ platform has now been completed. The verification of VET students tax file numbers and the reporting of revisions to pre‑2017 VET HELP debts is currently underway and is expected to be finalised by the end of the week.
VET TFNs will continue to be verified by the ATO each time you submit a unit of study with a HELP debt. Following this verification, revisions to pre‑2017 VET debts will be transferred to the ATO nightly.
2017 VET HELP debts
There is a delay in the transfer of VET debts incurred for units of study with a census date on or after 1 January 2017. This is due to the implementation of new program requirements. The first transfer of 2017 VET debts to the ATO will occur in late 2017. After this initial transfer of debts, subsequent VET HELP data will be sent to the ATO after each VET provider payment date, following validation. Invalidated records will not be reported to the ATO.
Thank you for your patience during this development period. A special thank you to those providers who generously agreed to assist us during the pilot testing phase. Your support was greatly appreciated.
Around 1 per cent of the TFNs that have been submitted to date could not be verified by the ATO. We will require your assistance to correct the details for these students as soon as practicable.
You will receive an automated email to advise you that one or more of your TFNs have failed verification. You will find your TFN verification reports on Opens in a new window: HEIMS Online under the HEIMS Data View tab.
When you open your TFN reports you will find the failed records have a Rejection Message. The table below provides details for the rejection messages.
TFN Revision report Rejection Messages
|No Unencrypted TFN||An unencrypted TFN is not available in HEIMS to send for verification.||A TFN must be submitted through a Revised HELP Due or TFN Revision submission.|
|Matched to different External ID||HEIMS student details match ATO student details but ATO has different TFN for student.||An updated TFN must be submitted through a Revised HELP Due or TFN Revision submission.|
|Unmatched||The TFN can be found but some or all of the HEIMS student details do not match the details held for the student at ATO for the TFN.||Updated student details must be submitted through a Revised HELP Due or TFN Revision submission.|
|Unmatched due to Client Status||The TFN and student details cannot be found.||The TFN and student details must be confirmed by the student.|
You can update a student's TFN and personal details using the new TFN revision submission or the Revised VET HELP Due submission.
Our resources on the Reporting student HELP debts to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) page will assist you with this process.
We expect some providers may experience a larger number of failures than usual in these first data transfers. This is because TFNs are matched for the first time using the new automated process. The failure rate should fall significantly once the backlog of unmatched TFNs is resolved.
Once these issues have been addressed, you will be able to substantially reduce if not almost eliminate TFN verification failures by including these two key steps in your standard administration processes:
- use the TFN LookUp submission to confirm the TFN details for all your new students at the time they commence their studies; and
- include a student's TFN when you submit a revision file to delete or re‑credit a pre‑2016 record
Who will be notified if a TFN cannot be verified by the ATO?
All staff with the 'Report Submissions' role will receive an automated notification of TFNs that fail verification. If you do not wish to receive these TFN notices please HEIMS.datacollections [at] education.gov.au (let us know) so we can disable them for you.
If you would like to receive the TFN notifications, you will need to request the 'TFN Officer' role on our Access to department systems form.
If you have any questions relating to the new method of data transfers please don't hesitate to contact us.