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  • 9 November 2017

    The Tax Profession Digital Implementation Group meeting was held on Thursday 9 November 2017.

    The information below is a summary of topics discussed at the meeting.

    Practitioner lodgment service

    The ATO’s digital services will ultimately provide tax and BAS agents with a choice to use practice management software and/or ATO Online.

    Remaining electronic lodgment service (ELS) form switch offs will progressively occur based on consultation with the profession, and currently the ATO is:

    • talking with agents who previously used practitioner lodgment service (PLS) but switched back to ELS, to understand drivers and to support transition to PLS
    • working through a list of PLS irritants and potential fixes
    • re-validating the premise that the majority of agents prefer to work within their software.

    The ATO re-confirmed that ‘value-add’ features will be made available for consumption by digital service providers (DSP) and will not be built into ATO Online, with the exception of features that are mandated legislative change.

    Digital services update

    The ATO Online Beta test environment will be operational at the beginning of December 2017 for the commencement of the private Beta pilot with a small group of participants.

    The ATO provided an update on the Operational Framework and its five mandatory requirements for DSPs:

    • Multi factor authentication
    • Encryption
    • Supply chain visibility
    • Data storage
    • Certification.

    MyTax 2018 will include additional functionality providing real-time messaging to assist self-preparers with completing their tax returns. This same functionality is under scope and being prioritised for agents through PLS. DSPs would like the release timing of this to be similar for both self-preparers and tax agents.

    Future of the tax profession

    The group discussed key focus areas to prepare the tax profession for changes in the future. These included:

    • Information and cyber security
    • The ATO Operational Framework impact on agents
    • Communication across ATO and tax professional associations
    • Co-design from the outset of a change/project/initiative
      Last modified: 23 May 2019QC 54585