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ATO to end access to tax and BAS agent portals by 29 November

Close to one in three tax agents who have yet to transition to the ATO’s new online services for agents will now be forced to make the move as the Tax Office announces its plan to shut down the tax and BAS agent portals by the end of November.

Technology Jotham Lian 06 November 2019
— 1 minute read

The ATO will officially decommission the old tax and BAS agent portals at 11.30pm AEDT on 29 November 2019.

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The closure date comes months ahead of myGovID replacing AUSkey as the new authentication solution in March 2020 — a date the industry had acknowledged and was working towards.

Instead, the ATO said that due to incoming major systems upgrades over the year-end period, the portals would no longer carry accurate information, necessitating their closure.

According to the Tax Office, 70 per cent of tax agents and 84 per cent of BAS agents have now transitioned over to the new online services for agents, with all remaining agents now being forced to make the switch over the next three weeks.

“If you are one of the few agents that have not transitioned, you will need to start familiarising yourself with it now,” said the ATO in an online update.

“The system has inbuilt help, and we have a range of support material to assist your transition.”

Functionality gaps

Despite the impending closure, the ATO has conceded that some functions in the old tax and BAS agent portals are not yet available in online services for agents.

Instead, it promises to work on these functions as a “priority” for the first half of 2020 or sooner.

Some of these functions include allowing practitioners to access deceased clients’ information if they are their legal personal representative, accessing tax type summary reports, submitting non-lodgement advice for non-individuals, and viewing activity statement account transactions.

ATO assistant commissioner Colin Walker had previously acknowledged that the new online services for agents was still far from complete and had called for practitioners to provide feedback to improve the service.

“We need to continue to enhance the online services to get them right; we haven’t done everything the feedback has given us so far, we’re still missing a few features that we want to get out,” Mr Walker said in a webcast in September.

“There are still a number of features in the old portal environment that we haven’t been able to put into online services yet. It’s just going to take us some time.

“You’ve told us that things are working well, so keep the feedback coming in, tell us what you like and you don’t like and we’ll continue to react to those, but it’s time to make that move.”

ATO to end access to tax and BAS agent portals by 29 November
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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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