In an effort to address the “completely unacceptable” history of instability and unscheduled downtime the professional community is subject to, Mr Xenophon is calling on the industry to get in touch so he can vocalise their frustrations to the government.
Mr Xenophon will also be exploring compensation avenues for those professionals who are affected by the persistent outages.
“We need to look at the tax office compensating accountants for the inconvenience. The tax office should be subject to service standards,” Mr Xenophon said.
“Having a statutory compensation scheme for these outages would be a powerful incentive for systems to work and not crash like this.
“If you’re a consumer and there’s an outage, you can get compensation after a certain number of hours with an outage. There needs to be some compensation here that doesn’t exist.”
As reported last week, shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh is also throwing his support behind the cause, calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to intervene.
The often unplanned outages are a persistent point of frustration for tax and BAS agents in particular.
“It’s frustrating and depending on what BAS/tax systems you subscribe to,” Debra Anderson, executive director at Anderson Tax & Consulting, told The Bookkeeper.
“For example MYOB’s BAS solution goes down if the portal is down but GovReports doesn’t. We don’t know this when we subscribe to these solutions so it makes it very difficult when we can’t even start to do a client’s work. It’s time consuming, it’s unbillable and therefore it’s costing me money,” she said.