During the ATO’s usual Christmas and New Year closure period from 4pm Friday 23 December 2016 to 8am Tuesday 3 January 2017, it conducted significant work to continue to restore its systems.
The issues began on Sunday 11 December 2016, when the ATO’s website, online services and portals, including the Tax Agent Portal, BAS Portal and Business Portal, began to experience extensive outages due to a hardware issue.
On 3 January 2017 the ATO released a statement regarding the work done over the Christmas break to restore services. It appears the systems are yet to be fully restored.
“The performance of our core services such as the website and portals continue to improve and we are bringing other functions and tools back online every day,” the statement read.
“The complexity of the restoration means there is more work to be done to return our services to normal. There may be some disruptions to service as this work is undertaken.”
In December commissioner of taxation Chris Jordan AO admitted that the outages were the “worst unplanned system outage in recent memory”.
The ATO has given those unable to complete November monthly Business Activity Statements on time due to its system outages until 10 January 2017 to complete lodgement and payment, without penalties, interest or follow-up action.
The ATO is also conducting an independent review into what happened and why.