The ATO has now confirmed that AUSkey and Manage ABN Connections will close at 11.59pm AEDT on Friday, 27 March 2020, mandating the use of myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM).
The previously withheld date was thought to have been 31 March, with the ATO using the ambiguous “end of March” deadline in its earlier advice material.
The ATO could not provide comments as to why the date was chosen before time of publication.
The Institute of Public Accountants’ general manager of technical policy, Tony Greco, had earlier told Accountants Daily that despite the best efforts of the professional accounting bodies in urging the ATO to delay the retirement of AUSkey, it was unlikely the date could be moved due to a technicality.
“The AUSkey certificate has a lifespan and it basically runs out at the end of March. So, it’s almost like it’s got a clock built into it and it is old technology, so things need to move along,” Mr Greco previously said.
“We’ve always asked why it needs to be done by [the end of March], and that’s the response that’s been provided, so I think we are up against the clock.
“The ATO has been adamant to us, despite the bushfires, despite a lot of other issues, they’re adamant and for them to default to myGovID for the login, they are ramping it up despite whatever else is happening in our world.”
A straw poll of 1,235 Accountants Daily readers found that more than 55 per cent of respondents were holding off until the first three months of 2020 to set up their myGovID, with 29.6 per cent of them indicating that they would only make the transition right before AUSKey retires.
According to the ATO, there were 492,936 myGovID app downloads as of 9 February, with 391,916 from the Apple App Store and a further 101,020 downloads from the Google Play store.
Jotham Lian is the 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.