In an open letter to the tax profession ahead of the end-of-year festive period, ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan has acknowledged the disruptions a slew of technological developments will have on the tax profession over its annual closure period and in the first quarter of 2020.
These changes include the old tax and BAS agent portals being officially decommissioned at the end of November, mandating the use of Online Services for Agents.
It also includes the ATO’s incoming Activity Statement Financial Processing (ASFP) project that will see a majority of its systems shut down to accommodate the major system upgrade.
Last but not least, from 27 March 2020, myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) will replace AUSkey as the new secure login service to access government online services.
“While these initiatives are designed to provide better services for you, we recognise that with any change comes disruption,” Mr Jordan said.
“We also understand that when new services are introduced, there are sometimes irritants and issues that need to be addressed.
“I can assure you we do not underestimate the impact this has on your business and your clients, and we do not make major changes lightly.”
He added: “However, we know that in the long term, these changes will allow us to provide better services, reducing administrative burden and unnecessary processes so you can get on with the job of providing meaningful advice and guidance.
“We appreciate your patience and understanding during periods of change so we can continue to deliver a better experience for you.”
Mr Jordan said he would ensure the ATO would work towards minimising disruptions while pledging to foster a “successful working partnership” with the tax profession.
“I have always said, and continue to believe, that the health of the tax system depends on a successful working partnership between tax professionals and the ATO,” Mr Jordan said.
“Strengthening that relationship has been a focus of mine as Commissioner, and will continue to be going forward.
“I look forward to working with you all in 2020 to understand and manage the impact of changes and ultimately provide you with better services, products and systems.”
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.