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  • Tax Help volunteers – assisting clients with ATO online

    Most Tax Help clients will have a myGov account linked to their ATO online account. However, if the client does not have a myGov account, Tax Help volunteers can assist them to access their online account through the Alternative Access Process (AAP).

    Tax Help volunteers can also help clients with linking their myGov account to ATO online so they can view their own tax information and lodge online.

    On this page

    Using AAP to assist clients

    The Alternative Access Process (AAP) allows authorised Tax Help volunteers to assist clients to lodge online without a myGov account.

    As a Tax Help volunteer, you access the AAP through your own myGov account, using a dedicated web address. The dedicated web address will be sent to volunteers in late June.

    You will need to log in each day as a Tax Help volunteer and on each device you use.

    There are 2 main steps to using AAP:

    Step 1: Logging on to AAP as a volunteer

    To log on to AAP as a volunteer:

    • enter the AAP web address in your web browser
    • choose to log in as a ‘Tax Help volunteer’ and select ‘Sign in’
    • at the myGov ‘Welcome’ page, sign in with your myGov username and password or your myGov Digital Identity
    • enter the SMS security code (the code will be sent to your mobile device, so make sure you take it with you to Tax Help appointments).

    If you've signed in successfully, the client login page will appear (see image below).

    At this screen, Tax Help volunteers can assist clients to log on to ATO online.

    Note: Before continuing, close and reopen your browser and re-enter the AAP web address into your web browser.

    You are now signed into AAP. To assist a Tax Help client, continue to Step 2: Logging the client into ATO online.

    When you've finished your Tax Help session, make sure you log out of AAP using THV sign out in the top right corner of the screen. Then, close the browser.

    Step 2: Logging the client into ATO online

    Once you've logged on as a volunteer, you can enter the Tax Help client’s details into the AAP. The steps are:

    • Select Individual (THV assisted) from the 'Login as' drop-down menu.
    • From the 'Getting started' screen, select from the following 2 options:

    The image below shows how these 2 options appear on the 'Getting started' screen.

    The 'Getting started' screen, with two options for logging on as the client - 'I have my tax details' or 'I have an access code'.

    I have my tax details

    If you select 'I have my tax details', enter the client's:

    • tax file number (TFN)
    • name
    • date of birth.

    The client will be asked to confirm their identity by answering ‘questions specific to you’. They must answer 2 out of 6 questions from the following categories:

    • bank account statement from an interest bearing account you've declared to the ATO or an account that we paid your tax refund into
    • a dividend statement
    • a notice of assessment
    • superannuation account statement
    • Centrelink payment summary
    • PAYG payment summary.

    Questions will appear only for categories where the ATO holds information about the client. For example, if the client does not own shares, you will not see a question about the dividend statement.

    Below is an example of the 'Confirm it is your record' screen, with questions specific to the client.

    An example of the 'Confirm it is your record' screen where the client needs to enter specific tax details to confirm their identity.

    Once the questions have been answered, the client’s ATO online account will open in the browser. You can now open the client’s myTax return.

    I have an access code

    Clients who are unable to provide sufficient tax details can confirm their identity by entering a THV access code.

    The THV access code is for clients who:

    • do not have a myGov account
    • are unable to create a myGov account
    • do not have or remember their myGov sign in details
    • are unsuccessful linking myGov to ATO online.
    Getting a THV access code

    To request a THV access code:

    • make sure you have the client's identity documents ready
    • phone the Tax Help hotline on 1800 644 104
    • identify yourself as a Tax Help volunteer
    • state that you have a Tax Help client with you
    • ask for a THV access code.

    Note that the THV access code is not a myGov linking code (MyGov linking codes are explained in Helping clients link myGov to ATO online).

    Once the client's identity has been confirmed, a THV access code will be issued (the code will expire after 24 hours).

    Sometimes the Service Delivery Officer (SDO) may not be aware of Tax Help or access codes.

    When you phone us, make sure you are requesting a THV access code. You may need to direct the SDO to the relevant SMART scripting.

    When SDO knows about Tax Help

    If the SDO knows about Tax Help but does not know about THV access codes, ask them to:

    • search SMART scripting with the term ‘Tax Help’
    • follow the links for
      • ‘THV requesting THV access code’ and then
      • ‘myGov Support Tool and THV access or myGov one time linking code’
    • follow the directions on the page to issue a THV access code.
    If SDO doesn't know about Tax Help

    If the SDO doesn't know about Tax Help, ask them to:

    • search SMART scripting with the term ‘Tax Help’
    • read the information and follow the links for
      • ‘THV requesting THV access code’, and then
      • ‘myGov Support Tool and THV access or myGov one time linking code’
    • follow the directions on the page to issue a THV access code.

    The SDO will undertake a proof-of-record ownership (PORO) identity check with the client. If this is successful, they will issue a THV access code.

    Using the THV access code

    Once you have obtained a THV access code:

    • enter the client's TFN and access code
    • agree to the terms and conditions
    • select ‘Submit’.

    The client’s ATO online account will open in the browser and you can open their myTax return.

    Below is an example of the 'Your access code' screen.

    At this screen, the client enters their tax file number and access code.

    Helping clients link myGov to ATO online

    If the client already has a myGov account but is having trouble linking it to the ATO, they will need a myGov linking code.

    The myGov linking code is for:

    • clients with a myGov account but unable to link to ATO online
    • first time lodgers
    • people new to Australia.

    Getting a myGov linking code

    To get a myGov linking code:

    • phone the Tax Help hotline on 1800 644 104
    • identify yourself as a Tax Help volunteer
    • state that you have a Tax Help client with you
    • ask for a myGov linking code.

    Once the client's identity has been confirmed, a myGov linking code will be issued (the code will expire after 24 hours).

    Sometimes the SDO may not be aware of Tax Help or access codes.

    When you phone us, make sure you are requesting a myGov linking code. You may need to direct the SDO to the relevant SMART scripting.

    When SDO knows about Tax Help

    If the SDO knows about Tax Help but does not know about myGov linking codes, ask them to:

    • search SMART scripting with the term ‘Tax Help’
    • follow the links for    
      • ‘THV requesting THV access code’ and then
      • ‘myGov Support Tool and THV access/myGov one time linking code’
    • follow the directions on the page to issue a myGov linking code.

    If SDO doesn't know about Tax Help

    If the SDO doesn't know about Tax Help, ask them to:

    • search SMART scripting with the term ‘Tax Help’
    • read the information and follow the links for
      • ‘THV requesting THV access code’, and then
      • ‘myGov Support Tool and THV access/myGov one time linking code’
    • follow the directions on the page to issue a myGov linking code.

    The SDO will undertake a proof-of-record ownership (PORO) identity check with the client. If this is successful, they will issue a THV access code.

    Phoning us on other matters

    Your identity as a Tax Help volunteer is not always essential when you phone us about other matters.

    However, if the SDO questions having a three-way conversation with you and the client, refer them to the Tax Help information in their scripting.

    If this occurs, ask the SDO to:

    • search their SMART scripting using 'Tax Help' and
    • read the Tax Help information
    • note the section '6 things you need to know dealing with enquiries from THVs'.

    The scripting explains your role as Tax Help volunteer and that you may act as an intermediary in conversations between clients and the ATO.

      Last modified: 31 Mar 2022QC 55356