Late last year, the ATO experienced significant issues with its online systems, resulting in major outages across its key portals for tax agents and accounting professionals.
The knock-on effects of this have continued into 2017, as the ATO performs system maintenance to restore data and stabilise access.
While the ATO admits it is continuing to experience widespread technical issues, it appears the Tax Agent Portal and BAS Agent Portal dashboards are operational, and experiencing less downtime than in previous weeks.
However, one important note is that the ATO has not yet completed restoring data from backup systems, which means the information displayed in the portals may not be current.
The ATO appears confident of its progress as it continues the restoration efforts.
“This week we have seen continued progress with efforts to restore our IT systems. Core services are stable and more systems are being brought online,” the ATO said.
This outage is the latest in a string of technical failures that have plagued the vital systems tax agents rely heavily on for their day-to-day operations.
The ATO recently told the accounting community that new and improved systems are in the pipeline to replace the Tax Agent Portal.
“We have done quite a bit of work to try and stabilise the portal, but it is aged infrastructure. At the time it was released it was the ‘you beaut’ thing. That’s a long time ago. Unfortunately we find ourselves in a place where we haven’t maintained that platform to keep it contemporary,” said ATO assistant commissioner Venetia Blackman.
“We can keep putting Band-Aids on it … or give you a brand-new one that is capable of a whole new experience,” she said.