BAS agents are currently leading tax agents when it comes to using myGovID to access the ATO’s Online services environment, with 46 per cent of all BAS agents now using the new digital identity to log in.
Just 20 per cent of tax agents are using myGovID to log in to Online services for agents, but that number has risen dramatically from just 3 per cent who were doing so at the start of 2020.
Speaking to Accountants Daily, ATO deputy commissioner and chief digital officer John Dardo said the current figures are exceeding the ATO’s expectations, with the agency having forecast for a spike in take-up just before AUSkey expires on 27 March.
“We’re still a month and a half out, so to be there is fantastic because we know that most people traditionally leave it to the last minute,” Mr Dardo said.
“There’s a bit of a myth out there that it has not been taken up, but enrolments are far exceeding our expectations, logins are far exceeding our expectations, percentages of logins are well above what we forecast.
“The statistical data is evidencing that people that are trying it are getting in, and staying in once they are in. Now, that doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions, but overwhelmingly, the adoption is well above expectations and well ahead of expectation.”
Avoid the traffic jam
Despite the growing adoption rate, Mr Dardo has urged agents to make the move to myGovID now rather than holding off until late March.
“The reason we’re encouraging people to go early is to avoid a traffic jam and to make space for some people who, for good reason, need to go in mid-March, and those are people with marriage certificates that link two different documents or for those who need authorisation for overseas [staff],” Mr Dardo said.
ATO assistant commissioner Colin Walker also believes agents should look to transition in February and early March, when support lines, including the myGovID hotline and tax agent fast key line, have relatively short wait times.
The myGovID hotline is currently averaging around a 90-second wait time, while the tax agent phone line is averaging around 15 seconds.
“Don’t wait until the end of March; there will be a lot of others trying to do things of that nature — get in early, prepare, do the training, read all the material and things will be a lot better,” Mr Walker told Accountants Daily.
“We will continue to work through with the field force and the outbound telephony, we will continue to watch that and talk to the professional associations about whether we need to expand that to have a system for people who are unable to solve the problems with the hotline, and we might need to build something else for that.”
Hear more about myGovID, directly from the ATO, in our upcoming webcast on 10 March at 11am AEDT. More details available here.
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.