The ATO is currently seeking tenders for the construction of a new centralised government email inbox that will provide Australian businesses with a secure vehicle for correspondence with all government agencies by April 2022.
“This service will provide a single business mailbox per registered business entity that will enable individuals to easily access and action mail delivered to their business mailbox,” the ATO said on issuing the tender.
“The service will manage an inbox user’s preferences, roles, permissions and their relationships with a business and their transactions to enable the community of business users to be informed and up to date with their obligations and entitlements.”
According to tender documents, the new mailbox will not integrate with the current myGov inbox, which has historically been a communication pain point for tax practitioners and their clients.
The ATO expects 5.5 million mailboxes to be established by the time of launch next April, with up to 11 million users utilising the new inbox.
The tender is the latest in a series of changes to emerge off the back of the ATO’s $420 million Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program, which was announced as part of an $800 million digital business package by the government last September.
In announcing the MBR program, the ATO’s aim was to reduce the regulatory burden shouldered by businesses by upgrading and consolidating 32 separate business registers.
The MBR program most recently provided impetus for a testing phase of the Director ID regime, set to conclude on 31 October, after the ATO was appointed as the Commonwealth Registrar of the new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).
The ABRS, once fully established, will bring together ASIC’s 31 business registers and the Australian Business Register onto a new modern system at the ATO, with the Director ID regime its first order of business.
Once testing concludes, directors will be able to access the ABRS using their myGovID to supply a number of identity documents to acquire their Director ID. That unique identifier will remain with the director permanently, regardless of whether they cease to be a director, change their name, or move interstate or overseas.
Provisional deadlines set by the Treasury will see all directors required to obtain a director ID by 30 November 2022.
The government will then move the companies register, the business names register and Australian business numbers to the ABRS as part of its consolidation plan.
Other key elements of the government’s digital package will include the allocation of $3.6 million to mandating the adoption of e-invoicing for all Commonwealth government agencies by 1 July 2022, along with the spend of a further $22.2 million to help small businesses digitise, through an expansion of the Australian Small Business Advisory Service.
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John Buckley is a journalist at Accountants Daily.
Before joining the team in 2021, John worked at The Sydney Morning Herald. His reporting has featured in a range of outlets including The Washington Post, The Age, and The Saturday Paper.