Outages and degraded performance of the ATO’s key portals, including the tax agent and BAS agent portals, have — unsurprisingly — persisted over the last two to three weeks. They are likely to continue as the ATO continues to adjust and restore its systems.
“The issues we have encountered with our systems over the past few weeks highlight the sheer size, scale, and complexity of the ATO’s IT environment,” a statement from the ATO said.
“We continue to examine the triggers and cause of these issues and this analysis is informing the ongoing remediation work we are undertaking. We can confirm recent events have not been related to our storage area network (SAN), but have been caused by other hardware or mainframe issues, and sometimes simply human error,” the ATO said.
The ATO acknowledged that tax practitioners have been struggling to meet the various lodgement requirements due to the persistent downtime.
“To ensure that there is no disadvantage, where possible, we will be remitting automatically or not imposing penalties for failure to lodge on time related to the late lodgement of 2015-16 income tax returns and activity statements due to be lodged from December 2016, where they are lodged by 31 August 2017,” the ATO said.
These arrangements will be put in place automatically, meaning tax practitioners do not need to contact the ATO.