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  • Tax Profession Digital Implementation Group key messages 7 March 2023

    Key topics discussed at the Tax Profession Digital Implementation Group meeting 7 March 2023.

    On this page

    Welcome and introduction

    ATO co-chair Melanie Casey welcomed the group to the first meeting for 2023 together with co-chair Michael Behling. Mike added that he is keen to ensure the group maintains robust, productive dialog throughout the year ahead.

    2030 Tax Practitioner Experience Strategy

    Strategic Goal 2 – Safeguard the security of the tax, super and registry data and IT systems

    Client agent linking

    The ATO advised members:

    • The project is part of the wider program of work aimed at securing the environment.
    • To date the program has been rolled out to public and multinational businesses and the Top 500 Private and Wealthy groups. Government entities were recently added, noting many are not linked to an agent.
    • We are committed to understanding the impacts on agents and the support needed. We have been consulting with the association representatives about further rollouts focusing on small business needs.
    • Based on feedback from the pilot group and Phase 2 roll out, we have been continuing to develop client experience changes that balance the need to maintain the security that is being implemented but maximise the client and agent experience of the nomination process (for example, enabling agents to see who has nominated them).
    • Individuals and non-corporate entities are not in scope for this phase of the program and will require a different design.
    Members' comments
    • Was the option of the agent having to initiate the linking process explored prior to landing on the current process?

    The ATO advised that Professional Associations were invited to identify alternative solutions, however, as this process impacts taxpayer data, it needs to be client/taxpayer initiated.

    • How does the taxpayer nominate the agent for a specific role and is the old agent notified?

    The ATO confirmed the agent would add themselves to the role they were being authorised to do and advised the old agent is not notified.

    • The exception processes must be a focus area, including processes for bulk transfers and large clients with many associated entities.

    Action item


    Due date

    May 2023


    Ziva White, Individuals and Intermediaries

    Action item details

    Client Agent Linking update

    Out of session with group members to understand and work through the issues in relation to myGovID and RAM accesses.

    Cyber security awareness and practice

    The ATO provided an overview on their Cyber Security Stakeholder Group (CSSG) advising members:

    • the ATO are not the experts on Cyber Security – we work together with stakeholders engaging in the tax and superannuation ecosystem to investigate methods to improve cyber security across our business and implement strategies to combat emerging cyber threats
    • we maintain a strong relationship between stakeholders delivering services via increasingly digital channels in the tax and superannuation systems
    • we understand cyber security as a shared responsibility and contribute to stronger defences and quicker responses
    • we engage with the community through education and awareness campaigns that provide industry best practices for safe cyber hygiene
    • education and communication with the tax professionals, superannuation bodies, and digital service provider communities form a large part of the scope for the CSSG.

    A key focus for the CSSG group in 2023 will be on:

    • targeted education and awareness on safe cyber security practices and where to find tools and resources
    • how to recognise malicious cyber activity which directly impacts tax professional, superannuation, government, and industry bodies.

    The large data breaches that occurred during the latter part of 2022 highlighted how malicious actors can undertake cyber-crimes against even the largest of corporations. Noting there may be future threats that flow on from these data breaches, particularly around the disclosure of customers' personal information, the ATO will continue to facilitate information sharing with members to promote the importance of having a data breach plan, online security and cyber best practice, based on advice from the Australian Cyber Security CentreExternal Link (ACSC).

    Social media impersonation scams

    We are seeing an increase in fake social media accounts impersonating the ATO including staff across Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and other platforms.

    Our official accounts are only on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

    The best way to verify that it is really the ATO is to:

    • Check how many people follow the account. Our verified Facebook and LinkedIn accounts have over 200,000 followers, and our Twitter account has over 65,000 followers.
    • Check activity on the accounts. Our social media channels have been operating for around 10 years – if it is a newly created account, or only has a few posts, it's not us.
    • Look for the grey tick next to our username (@ato_gov_au) on Twitter and the blue tick next to our name (Australian Taxation Office) on Facebook.
    • make sure any email addresses provided to you end with ‘’.

    Strategic Goal 4 – Increase trust and confidence in the tax, super and registry systems

    Lodgment deferral in Online services for agents

    The ATO advised members the new deferral feature in Online service for agents addresses one of the most significant issues raised during the lodgment program review, deferral requests.

    Members were advised on the delivery time for the feature:

    • live private beta function and load testing until 31 March 2023
    • ongoing development of support materials to assist the profession
    • widely available to the profession by end of April 2023
    • decommissioning legacy process, to be determined.
    Members' comments
    • Has the ATO has considered performance and technology issues, wanting to know how agents can contact the ATO when issues arise.

    The ATO confirmed both processes and scripting for telephony staff have been updated.

    • Is the new feature available for basic myGovID users and where does the feature fit into Access manager?

    The ATO advised the functionality for deferrals will be added to the client registration access, standard and above IP2.

    Members advised they thought this project was a great initiative and an example where the ATO was using technology to assist members of the profession.

    Action item


    Due date

    May 2023


    Claire Miller, Enterprise Solutions and Technology

    Action item details

    Update basic myGovID restrictions information on


    Include information on to reflect that lodgment deferral requests in Online services for agents will not be able to be undertaken using a basic ID.

    Expanding the use of STP data to address SG non-compliance

    The ATO is undertaking work to match, at scale, Member Account Transaction Service contributions to Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting at the employee level. This will be used to enhance our ability to identify SG shortfalls and protect retirement savings. While we use these data sets to identify non-compliance now, we are looking at how we can build off this work to use the data to help employers understand how and when they got off track for their employees.

    We will be in a better position to help and support employers who are getting off track with their SG obligations and continue to maintain a low tolerance for employers who are not doing the right things and not engaging with the ATO to remediate any SG non-payment.

    Trends of incorrect reporting will be identified, and we will work with our stakeholders to identify opportunities to improve quality of reporting from either funds or employers.

    Our existing compliance regime will continue and will not be affected whilst the work is being done to optimise the use of our data. However, over time we would expect that the need for employees to complain about unpaid super should reduce as we increase our ability to identify and respond to non-payment in a more contemporaneous way.

    The key focus for employers and agents is to ensure:

    • reporting and payment are timely, complete, and accurate
    • use of the STP corrections framework to correct mistakes as soon as you notice them
    • payroll governance processes are appropriate for your business and reviewed regularly.
    • that SG payments are received by the employees’ super fund by the due date – this is especially relevant if you use a commercial clearing house.
    Members' comments

    It will be important for the ATO to provide clarity on the compliance approach

    Additional guidance and education are required for employers in relation to their SG obligations.

    Membership refresh update

    Melanie Casey and Benjamin Lurje provided an update on the membership refresh, advising that the charter is being revised to ensure the focus of the group is purposeful and clear. Members were asked to consider and provide their opinions on:

    • composition and size of the group
    • diversity and balancing of new and existing voices.
    Members' comments

    More grass roots BAS agent representation in the group was recommended.

    Additional representation from larger groups.

    Membership opportunity to be promoted more widely in the community to seek different, relevant voices.

    A mix of virtual meetings and face-to-face co-design sessions was recommended.

    Environmental scan

    Mike Behling sought input from members, asking to provide what is being experienced, trends and items impacting the tax profession from a digital perspective.

    The secretariat captured these items to help inform future agenda topics.

    Other business

    Members were offered the opportunity to raise other business, with the following items being raised:

    • With the Budget coming up in May, please advise of tax changes for the current year, specifically items going through Parliament and assuming the changes will be built into the forms for 2023 year.
    • A member queried whether OECD Pillar 2 would be something likely to be an Online services for agents function or via PLS software?

    The ATO advised this topic will be a forward agenda.

    Action item update

    20221125_01 – Channel Strategy

    This item has been carried forward and will be presented at a future meeting.

    20221125_02 – Prefill expansion opportunities

    This item has been closed; member contacted directly.

      Last modified: 28 Apr 2023QC 72232