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  • 27 November 2015

    The ATO Tax Practitioner Advisory Group meeting was held on Friday, 27 November 2015.

    A summary of topics discussed is provided below, to assist professional associations to communicate key messages to members.

    Digital by default

    The ATO continues to encourage people to access and use digital services where available. The Australian community continues to expect more services to be easy to use and made available online.

    In the 2015–16 federal BudgetExternal Link the government announced its commitment to reduce red tape and progressively require most people to use digital services, provided they have the ability or means to do so.

    In preparation for this initiative, the ATO would like tax practitioners to provide feedback on a discussion paper focused on the transition to digital services. You can provide feedback:

    Closing date for response is 15 January 2016.

    Digital transformation

    Continuing support for the Digital Transformation Agenda, the ATO will take the lead role in delivering a relationship and authentication solution across government agencies and intermediary types. The ATO will form a working group to co-design the first stages of a framework for tax practitioners.

    The future solutions will explore voice biometrics and authentication for tax practitioners, and make it much easier for intermediaries to prove identity and authority to access client records.

    The ATO app

    Voice authentication is available via the ATO app. This allows individuals and sole traders to access online services using their voice instead of using a myGov username and password.

    When a voiceprint is enrolled via the app, a record is stored in ATO systems. When contacting the ATO by phone, callers can authenticate using the voiceprint as opposed to undergoing the usual proof of identity process.

    The ATO will be working towards making voice authentication available as a whole of government service.

    Tips and links

    The ATO has published a step by step guide to using the Client correspondence listExternal Link.

    The ATO recently released phase one of the Tax Agent Portal Dashboard. The dashboard will tell you, in near real time, if the portal is working or experiencing problems based on a traffic light system.

    The Complex issue resolution service is available to resolve complex administrative issues and tax technical interpretation queries you have been unable to resolve online or by phone

    More information

    More information on any of these topics can be obtained from your professional association representatives. Practitioners should contact their representative to contribute ideas.

      Last modified: 14 Sep 2018QC 27350