The much-awaited changes will give those who have struggled to set up their myGovID because of naming mismatches the ability to link a change in name by verifying a marriage certificate or change of name certificate.
Available from 16 March, the update will also allow offshore staff, non-resident staff or Australians without the right identity documents to set up myGovID with a basic identity strength and link them to the business.
“Because it’s only a basic ID, and it’s not based around things that we are totally confident in; we have restricted some of the services that people can actually do through Online services for agents,” said ATO assistant commissioner Colin Walker on Accountants Daily Live.
“For example, an obvious one that stands out is you don’t want people that you’re not sure of changing bank account details, so that one is unable to be done. Similarly, you can’t add clients, nor can you remove clients from a client list within the business, so we’ve taken the riskiest ones and we’ve said no, you’re not going to be able to do that.”
The quarterly system update will also see the rollout of a function in access manager to restrict staff access to the client list, after concerns were raised about the ability for staff to access client information through Online services for agents outside the workplace and outside office hours.
“Many agents have told me that’s a real problem for them that their client list is available to their staff; you will now be able to choose as to whether they have that list or not,” Mr Walker said.
Mr Walker added the ATO would also continue to collaborate with the profession to develop other out-of-office controls, on top of the impending audit log function in June that will allow agents to view who has been accessing Online services for agents.
“We’re also considering other possibilities such as the possibility of creating in Access Manager a way to restrict access in terms of time,” he added.
“I’ve got a small working group looking at access and we’ll continue to work through that group to look at what other things might be able to do into the future.”
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.