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  • Authentication solution specific

    For authenticating with the Simplified GST system specifically, the following shows a break down across audiences of user needs reported by both decision makers and end-users of the system.

    Legend:validatedvalidated, invalidatedinvalidated, unsureunsure based on 28 replies logged 2  

    Authenticate with the ATO in a manner most suitable to their circumstances

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. staff

    It’s quick and easy to set up

    Extremely important

    validated100%

    validated100%

    It’s quick and easy to login

    Extremely important

    validated100%

    validated100%

    I can always get access

    Extremely important

    validated100%

    validated100%

    One credential per individual (as in separate credential and not attached as user account to single credential)

    Not important

    validated20%

    validated11%

    One sign on per non-resident business no matter who represents them

    Important for business

    invalidated100%

    validated100%

    One sign on for the intermediary no matter who we represent and no matter which staff member uses this, but with access control for different staff and the ability to set up separate staff user accounts.

    Extremely important

    validated86%

    n/a

    I only have to register once

    Very important

    validated100%

    validated45%

    My account can’t be hacked

    Extremely important

    validated100%

    validated78%

    unsure32%

    I can control staff access

    Very important

    validated100%

    validated78%

    My privacy (and that of my clients) is protected

    Extremely important

    validated100%

    validated100%

    My employer gives me what I need to do my job

    Important

    validated100%

    unsure56%

    I can login and use the system from any device (generally laptop/desktop and NOT mobile phone)

    Very important

    validated71%

    validated78%

    I can login and use the system from any device (including a mobile device)

    Somewhat important

    validated29%

    validated44%

    2 Some of these might be conflicting as applicability depends on the particular audience. 
    Provision of minimal personal information

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. staff

    Provision of personal information about staff

    Very important

    validated100%

    validated100%

    Separation of personal and business

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. staff

    • Employees don’t want to and managers don’t permit use of personal mobile devices
      • in some instances IT policy of business does not allow that
      • 3/14 tax advisors would use personal device for reading emails but never to ‘action’ or manage client details.
      • 3/14 tax advisors would be happy to use the personal device including for registering, reporting and paying GST.
       
     

    Not desired nor important now – long term, clients indicate possible shift

    validated57%

    unsure21%

    invalidated21%

    validated56%

    invalidated44%

    • No mixing of personal and business identity
      • If credential is applied at the individual level or for user accounts, then no provision of birth date or TFN. 3/14 would be ok to provide their birth date if needed.
      • Non-resident business would not want to provide anything else than name and email.
       
     

    Very important

    validated86%

    unsure14%

    validated100%

    Safe and secure interactions

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. staff

    • Choice of username
      • This was not as important for many as expected and only rated as somewhat important for these.
       
     

    Nice to have

    validated50%

    unsure50%

    validated33%

    unsure22%

    invalidated44%

    • Securing the credential with a password
      • Password preferred since voice/fingerprint can’t be shared between people (where there is preference for a business level credential).
      • As desktop/laptop is used for access, there is the concern that hardware would be needed for fingerprint.
      • Privacy concerns around voice and fingerprint
      • Usability concerns in an open office for voiceprint
       
     

    Very important

    validated100%

    validated100%

    Securing the credential with voice or fingerprint

    Not desired

    invalidated100%

    invalidated100%

    Online services to be as secure as any other ATO online system (highly secure).

    Very important

    validated100%

    n/a

    Access tailored to the business preferred way of working

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. staff

    One credential for multiple businesses (one for the business group)

    Rarely desirable

    14%

    0%

    • One shared credential for anyone representing the business, i.e. business account (not for Australian tax advisors)
      • All intermediaries said the non-resident business should also have their own credential
      • For business accounts, participants would be happy to provide the business name, phone number, address, email, tax id or company id of country of residence, VAT number of the home country and information of the types of supply they make to Australia)
       
     

    Extremely important

    validated93%

    validated89%
    75% 2-3 would access

    25% 4-5 would access

    One shared tax service provider company level credential for anyone representing any of their client businesses – with access controls and individual user accounts - ‘just like the portal’)

    Extremely important

    validated100%

    n/a

    • One credential per individual to access any non-resident business they represent.
      • For an individual credential, participants would be happy to provide first and last name, date of birth (50%) and email addresses (but not phone number or address nor TFN)
       
     

    Rarely desirable

    validated7%

    validated11%

    Choice of device

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. staff

    Credential portable to different machines (desktop/laptop)

    Extremely important

    validated100%

    validated89%

    Credential locked to specific device

    Not desirable

    invalidated100%

    validated11%

    • Credential transferrable from one person to another (when at individual level)
      • Most would set up a new credential or user account when a person leaves the business
      • Where it was important, respondents generally referred to being able to ‘log in’ in lieu of another rather than transferring the credential.
       
     

    Desirable but not needed

    validated57%

    validated56%

    Device and platform agnostic (work on any operating system)

    Extremely important

    validated100%

    n/a

    Usability that saves time and effort

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. staff

    Minimal steps to sign up and authenticate

    Very important

    validated100%

    validated78%

    Error recovery and support

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. staff

    Alternative authentication if primary fails (password/credential recovery)

    Important

    validated100%

    validated67% (6)

    A safe credential - AUSkey is the preferred method for Tax Advisors and an ATO credential was preferred over an Australian Government credential by 70% of non-residents and tax advisors (if AUSkey/Portal is not possible)

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. staff

    • Whole of Government credential
      • Those in favour of this were the tax advisors who access more than just ATO services for their clients, such as large accounting firms
       
     

    Desirable

    validated29%

    invalidated36%

    validated33%

    • AUSKEY – using an existing credential
      • in one case – ‘saves time’
       
     

    Important

    validated64%

    validated11%

    ATO credential that will only work for tax management purposes

    Desirable

    validated64%

    validated67%

    • Hotmail/Gmail or business email account are not appropriate for accessing a Government service
      • Participants were unanimous that this is not appropriate for a Government account
      • Twitter or Facebook was never appropriate “Despite using personal device to work, I would not be happy to use personal account (Gmail/Twitter/Facebook) to deal with my tax. It will not feel secure enough”
      • One participant suggested logging in with their business email would be appropriate
       
     

    Not desirable

    invalidated100%

    invalidated89%

    • MyGov credential
      • not suitable for most as it is personal
       
     

    Not desirable

    invalidated57%

    validated22%

    • Accessing other Australian Government services with the same credential.
      • Most would not need to access other Australian Government services apart from meeting tax liabilities
      • ABR and ASIC should be accessible by those who wanted the credential usable for other services than the ATO.
       
     

    Desirable when other services are accessed

    validated29%

    validated33%

    • Replace this Australian Taxation Office digital ID with a whole of Australia Government solution once available
      • Most would not need to access other Australian Government services apart from meeting tax liabilities
      • If a Government digital ID becomes available, for business (not individual level), then this should be able to be used instead of this ATO digital ID as they would only want to use one.
       
     

    Desirable but not needed

    validated29%

    validated22%

    Simplified GST system specific

    For the Simplified GST system specifically, the following shows a break down across audiences of user needs reported by both decision makers and end-users of the system.

    Legend:validatedvalidated, invalidatedinvalidated, unsureunsure based on 28 replies logged 3  

    Ability to meet GST obligations in Australia with low costs to the business

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. Staff

    Ability to meet GST obligations in Australia with low costs to the business

    Extremely

    important

    validated100%

    validated100%

    Provision of minimal information

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. Staff

    • Easy, simplified and streamlined business registration, reporting and payment of GST
      • Two field return desirable
       
     

    Very important

    validated100%

    validated67%

    • No proof of identity - Provision of minimal information about the business, contacts and GST transactions to register and report GST
      • Concerns were raised about how the ATO would enforce compliance with the unidentified.
       
     

    Somewhat important

    validated86%

    validated22%

    3 Some of these might be conflicting as applicability depends on the particular audience. 
    Digital interaction only - A centralised digital environment to interact with the ATO for all dealings, including support

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. Staff

    Digital interaction only - A centralised digital environment to interact with the ATO for all dealings, including support

    • But only if the response is immediate and reliable. Else real person contact needed.
     

    Very
    important (this works reliably and timely)

    validated100%

    validated78%

    Support the business preferred way of working

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. Staff

    • Ability to register businesses asap, ahead of first date of reporting
      • Register business at point of finding out they have an obligation and no later than 1 month before 1 July
      • A few would register the business at time of first filing a return. (one)
       
     

    Very important

    validated100%

    validated67%

    Provision for different users to conduct different actions as part of registering, reporting and paying GST

    Very important

    validated100%

    validated67%

    Ability for intermediaries to register and report

    Important

    validated100%

    validated56%

    • Ability for client to pay GST while the tax service provider reports
      • One firm does not provide cash services; client always makes payments
       
     

    Client usually pays

    validated86%

    validated11%

    Non-resident business staff to report and pay GST on behalf of the business.

    Very important

    invalidated21%

    validated100%

    Ability for intermediaries to pay GST on behalf of the business.

    Rarely executed

    validated21%

    validated11%

    • 3 monthly reporting cycles
      • 1 tax advisor would prefer monthly
      • 1 tax advisor would prefer yearly
       
     

    Works for most

    validated86%

    validated100%

    Access to historical data

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. Staff

    History on all total GST payable and total taxable sales

    Extremely important

    validated100%

    validated100% (9)

    Account balance, including credits

    Extremely important

    validated100%

    validated89% (8)

    Account history, including every return lodged, including payment history

    Extremely important

    validated93%

    validated100% (9)

    Payment status

    Desirable

    validated7%

    validated22%

    Last use and login details

    Important for some

    validated64%

    validated78%

    Client details history

    Important for only few

    n/a

    validated11%

    History of actions on account (tracking elements)

    Important

    validated71%

    validated78%

    Requirement to obtain an ABN for non-resident business

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. Staff

    • Most businesses don’t expect this is required as they won’t have an Australian presence.
    • Some concerns were raised regarding the requirement to show ABN on invoices.
     

    Not important

    invalidated7%

    validated22%

    invalidated67%

    Payment with the method of my choice: 'the more options provided, the better'

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. Staff

    Payment with the method of my choice:
    'the more options provided, the better'

    Extremely important

    validated93%

    validated100%

    SWIFT

    Extremely important

    validated100%

    validated89%

    Direct debit (from a trust account of the Australian tax service provider)

    Desirable

    validated7%

    n/a

    Credit Card

    Very important

    validated14%

    validated33%

    PayPal

    Very important

    validated21%

    validated33%

    Amex

    Desirable

     

    validated11%

    Virtual accounts in cross-border jurisdictions

    Desirable

     

    validated11%

    Flexibility and choice

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. Staff

    Ease of ability to ‘upgrade’ to the ‘full GST system’ building on ‘simple GST system’ registration

    • without ‘jumping through the hoops’ to claim costs incurred if non-business reps travel to Australia
    • Costs incurred in Australia (full GST reporting) or no costs (simple GST reporting) are clearly the pivotal factor between the two systems.
     

    Desirable when a business needs to switch

    validated50%

    n/a

    Lodgment alerts

    • They can clog up the system - big firms have their own systems in place to lodge on time
    • With the option to switch them on/off
     

    Very important

    (as choice)

    validated79%

    invalidated14%

    validated33%

    Offset future debts if GST is (accidentally) overpaid as default is suitable as long as there is the flexibility to request a refund if required (i.e. if there is no future debt)

    • Most overseas clients don’t have an Australian account that could accept refunds
     

    Desirable with access to refund

    validated79%

    validated100% (9)

    Error prevention, recovery and support

    User needs and goals

    Overall

    Australian tax advisor

    Non-resident bus. Staff

    Enable correction of mistakes on future returns (rather than amending an old one)

    Extremely important

    validated93%

    validated100%

    Real time validation of entries

    Important

    validated100%

    validated67%

    unsure33%

    Machine to machine automated reporting

    • One firm prefers manual
    • Another firm would welcome having their software upgraded to support this
    • Not automated - As long as they keep control before the data is submitted, i.e. review and edit.

    Formats: Excel, XML, CSV

    Zero accounting software mentioned twice

    Thomson Reuters OneSource Reporting

    Desirable with control before submit

    validated64%

    invalidated36%

    validated33%

    invalidated67%

    Auto correct GST if the GST

    • Most would want a warning but not an automatic correction as there might be a valid reason to modify the GST amount
    • 1 out of 13 thought a ‘one field’ return would be appropriate, with GST calculated by the system
     

    Not desired

    validated14%

    invalidated
100%

    validated44%

    invalidated
56%

    Save and resume function

    Very important

    validated100%

    validated89%

    unsure11%

    Lodgement due dates and payment due in the account

    Desirable

    n/a

    validated22%

    From within the simplified GST system have access to current GST rate and any rules around when GST rate is reduced/varies, the ‘law’ in practical/applicable terms, receive notifications about changes

    Desirable

    n/a

    validated11%

      Last modified: 03 May 2018QC 55175