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Tax Profession Digital Implementation Group key messages 25 August 2022

Key topics discussed at the Tax Profession Digital Implementation Group meeting on 25 August 2022.

Last updated 13 November 2022

Welcome and introduction

ATO co-chair Assistant Commissioner Kerry O’Loghlin welcomed attendees and asked that any conflicts of interest be declared (none declared) and reminded the group of confidentiality requirements.

2030 Tax Practitioner Experience Strategy

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

Draft 2030 Tax Practitioners Experience Strategy

Assistant Commissioner, Kath Anderson, led the facilitated discussion by providing an update on the progress of the draft 2030 Tax Practitioners Experience Strategy, noting the changes to the aspiration, strategic goals and objectives as a result of Tax Practitioner Stewardship Group (TPSG) member feedback.

Members were asked if the strategic goals and objectives were appropriate, and were encouraged to provide input in continuing to shape the content.

Member comments
  • A member suggested education is of key importance, as well as being able have access to speak with someone to resolve issues quickly.
  • A member highlighted the importance of digitising processes wherever viable, providing an example of having a push assessment type approach for super guarantee charges compared to the existing process where employers have to report to the ATO.
  • A member suggested editing the term ‘agreed level of reasonable care’ as this is not a defined term – suggested removing the word 'reasonable' would address this concern.

Enhanced myGov

Director, Liana Harrington, provided an overview about the myGov website changes taking place on 5 September 2022. Members were asked to provide initial support to their clients during the transition period. The change has been communicated in the Tax professionals and BAS agent newsletters since the beginning of August.

Post meeting update – For further information see the myGov has changedExternal Link video.

Member comments

A member queried if there would be more clicks to access ATO information for a user.

The ATO advised beta testing has been running for a while and changes were made to provide users with a more streamlined experience based on life events.

Strategic Goal 3 – Improve tax performance for clients of tax practitioners

Tax professionals digital services survey

Director, Benjamin Lurje, shared the results from the recent Tax Professionals Digital Services survey. The survey was conducted to provide insights into the tax and BAS agent ATO digital service experience.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 65% of surveyed tax professionals are ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with ATO digital services
    • 72% of BAS agents are ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with ATO digital services
    • 61% of tax agents are ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with ATO digital services
  • 84% of tax professionals think the ATO has improved digital services over the past 3 years
  • Key insights include:
    • Digital experiences highly correlate. with overall satisfaction with the ATO.
    • Perceptions vary by role – registered BAS agents consistently held a more positive view than tax agents)
    • Commercial business management software scored more favourably across the key indicators compared to Online service for agents.
    • Improving Online services for agents satisfaction is likely to have a greater impact upon the overall satisfaction with digital services.
    • Tax professionals are dissatisfied with the current support options, both in terms of quality and timeliness of responses.
Member comments
  • A member queried who was asked to complete the survey and how was the survey completed?

The ATO advised the survey request went out to 10,000 agents across all demographics, noting high confidence in data and in the mix of the population engaged.

  • A member indicated they would be interested in the differentiated responses from the larger firms.

The ATO advised that it would review the data and if there was anything material observed, a further update would be brought to members.

  • A member queried whether any identified enhancements (the most popular functionality) would be best placed in commercial software versions of Online services for agents to avoid competing against each other.

The ATO advised that this point would be further explored and discussed at the November meeting.

Tax Professional Digital Uplift Strategy

Director, Benjamin Lurje, provided an overview of the intent and scope of the Digital Uplift Strategy, highlighting that the strategy has been developed to drive investment in contemporary, reliable and secure digital experiences for tax professionals.

The Digital Uplift Strategy will focus on the following 3 areas to guide our approach:

  • Better securing the digital environment
    • Continual evolution of and improvements to our technology to safeguard the security of our data and our digital environment
    • Partnering with tax professionals as trusted parties in protecting our systems and their clients’ information
    • Increasing resilience against unauthorised attempts to access taxpayer data and commit refund fraud.
  • Driving digital self-service
    • Developing an ecosystem of reliable digital self-serve channels
    • Prioritising self-serve options for high volume, low complexity interactions.
  • Required system enhancements
    • Exploring solutions to irritants that adversely impact efficient and effective use of our systems
    • Continually monitoring opportunities for improvements to the client experience when using digital services.
Member comments

A member complimented the strategy and requested they be included in the process to provide input as the strategy is progressed.

The ATO confirmed we will provide another update at the November meeting, pending endorsement of the strategy by the Individuals and Intermediaries Deputy Commissioner.

Statement of intent / membership refresh

Assistant Commissioner Kerry O’Loghlin advised members that the TPSG membership refresh process is progressing, with results anticipated to be announced in late September / early October.

Kerry highlighted the intention is for the Tax Profession Digital Implementation Group to follow a similar process to TPSG, enabling the group to have effective representation (large, small, metro, regional practitioners). Kerry emphasised that targeted digital co-design sessions can include more representatives.

Member comments

  • A member enquired if the ATO had considered having cryptocurrency providers on the group?

The ATO advised that cryptocurrency providers would be considered for relevant digital co-design sessions.

  • A member requested that the group statement of intent be disseminated to members ahead of the call for expressions of interest.

The ATO advised that the secretariat will issue the statement of intent together with the key messages.

Other business

  • The Deferrals in the Online services for agents paper update was formally tabled.
  • Assistant Commissioner Kerry O’Loghlin listed future agenda items
    • Ability to use STP Phase 2 data to better address super guarantee
    • Conversations on consumer/taxpayer data rights
    • Cryptocurrency and digital implications
    • Update on
    • Future service offer – commercial software versus Online services for agents
    • Update on Digital Uplift Strategy
    • Update on the ATO digital refresh strategy

Member comments

  • A member suggested that when doing the membership refresh, perhaps ask about preferences for meetings – via WebEx or face-to-face.
  • A member identified an error on the lodging report dashboard – that is, not reflecting correct information.

The ATO advised it would investigate and encouraged the member to email the secretariat with any specific examples of the error/issue.

  • A member commended the ATO on the agenda, noting it was very group specific and that there was not a lot of duplicate information across the various consultation groups.