The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has hit the ‘go-live’ button for a new online service for businesses.
The new business portal replaces a 17-year-old legacy platform and can be accessed from phones, tablets and desktop computers with a myGovID.
The ATO said businesses can manage their tax and super obligations securely via the platform, for tasks like viewing tax returns and income tax history or create payment plans.
ATO deputy commissioner Deborah Jenkins acknowledged that many businesses have been challenged by the past year — this change to the ATO’s platform was intended to help, she said.
“We are here to support businesses through this transition and whilst the new service will ensure an improved experience across a range of services, it is important to note that it is not a replacement for the professional advisory services provided by tax professionals,” Ms Jenkins said.
According to the ATO, the updated portal was developed with extensive user testing with business clients. One of the unique features to be built into the portal as a result of this co-design is a ‘switch ABN function that allows owners of multiple businesses to move between the businesses they manage without having to log out and back in again.
“We’ve seen a great increase in participation from small business owners making the switch to the new service,” Ms Jenkins said.
“Businesses in the professional, scientific and technical services and construction sectors have been quick to jump on board. We’d like to see more of manufacturing, retail trade, health care and social assistance businesses also start using the service.”
Ms Jenkins thanked businesses who participated in the ATO’s user testing for the portal and said her agency would continue to iterate the platform into the future.
“In the spirit of designing with the end-user in mind, many businesses have been involved in the development of the service from the very beginning, and we are grateful for the valuable feedback we’ve received,” Ms Jenkins said.
“We’ve made many tweaks and improvements to the service as a result and continue to work through how we can further improve the experience for all businesses as they transition to our online platform.”
The ATO indicated that a transition period, that included ongoing maintenance of its older electronic superannuation tool (eSAT), would allow users to adjust to the new service over the coming months.
Businesses that do not have an existing myGovID account can set up a new one and have a Relationship Authorisation Manager from the ATO link their organisation on the portal.