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ATO vows to fix systems for tax time as downtime looms


The ATO has announced additional system maintenance to replace the system area network that is involved in the major system outages, which have plagued the ATO since December 2016.

By Lara Bullock 11 minute read

The ATO has announced three lots of extra system maintenance over the next three months, including over Easter weekend.

This comes after the ATO commissioner Chris Jordan AO released a statement last month promising that all portals and systems will be running smoothly for tax time.

“I can assure the community that we are taking this seriously, and it has the highest priority,” Mr Jordan said.


The additional system maintenance periods will allow the ATO to progressively install a new storage area network (SAN) to replace the SAN which was involved in the major outages in December 2016 and February of this year.

During the maintenance periods, majority of the ATO systems will be unavailable, including Tax Agent, BAS Agent and Business Portals, ATO Online, Access Manager, AUSKey and Australian Business Register.

“We understand the impact this may be having on your practice and your clients, and we thank you for your continued understanding and patience,” the ATO statement read.

An Accountants Daily poll revealed that 81.6 percent of accountants felt the outages significantly affected their productivity.

The outages have had a major toll on small accounting practices in particular, with some calling for compensation for earnings lost.

Gail Freeman, director at Gail Freeman & Co, told Accountants Daily that her practice suffered financially as a result of the outages.

“It's impacted on our earnings because when you're a small practice, there is a significant impact,” Ms Freeman said.

“It certainly has impacted earnings over December and January, no question.”

In January PwC was appointed to conduct an independent review into the outages which is due to be finalised this month.



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Lara Bullock


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