The tax office said it appreciates that the extensive digital outages, which began in December last year and spanned well into early 2017, would have impacted the ability of tax professionals to meet their clients’ obligations in a timely manner.
The ATO is in the process of distributing tax agents their annual Lodgment Program Performance summary. The program is designed to encourage tax agents to hit an on-time lodgement performance of 85 per cent for fringe benefits tax and income tax returns.
There is also a BAS agent lodgement program, which for this financial year includes lodgement and payment concessions when agents electronically lodge eligible quarterly activity statements, and a lodgement concession for pay-as-you-go (PAYG) withholding payment summary annual reports.
The tax and BAS agent portals had a rocky start to tax time this year, with some unscheduled downtime over several hours in July. There have been other instances of unplanned outage, including most recently on 24 September, when the ATO’s online services were operating at degraded performance for several hours.