The ATO notified tax professionals last week that changes have been made to the Tax Agent Portal and BAS Agent Portal including enhanced functionality for activity statements, a ‘manage employees’ menu for Single Touch Payroll and a new look for portal help pages.
Tax professionals can now save a partially prepared activity statement for completion at a later date by any authorised person and access partially prepared activity statements from any computer that can access the portal.
Further, they can now lodge a nil activity statement with one click without needing to fill each label with zero, click the checkbox to sign the declaration without using their AUSkey credentials, as well as take advantage of the Simpler BAS reporting changes.
The ATO also warned that there may be unplanned system outages during tax time if urgent maintenance if required.
If maintenance is required at short notice this will occur between 11:30pm and 7:00am EST, Monday to Saturday, according to the ATO.
The ATO has said that it will not notify tax professionals of system outages unless they fall outside of that time bracket.
This follows news that scheduled system maintenance last month didn’t go to plan, with tax agents reporting that vital services were not back up and running when they were meant to be.
Last month, the ATO released a report into the widespread systems outages it experienced in December 2016 and February 2017, which included findings from the ATO’s internal review as well as the independent review conducted by PwC.