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Tax Help volunteers – using Alternative Access Process (AAP)

The Alternative Access Process allows Tax Help volunteers to help clients with online lodgment of returns or amendments.

Last updated 20 June 2024

Tax Help clients

Most Tax Help clients will have a myGov account linked to the ATO. However, if the client doesn't have or can't access their 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 link their myGov account to the ATO so they can view their own tax information and lodge online.

Using AAP to assist clients

AAP allows 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 login as a ‘Tax Help volunteer’ and select ‘Sign in’
  • at the myGov ‘Welcome’ page, sign in with your myGov username and password or your myGovID Digital Identity
  • you may need to enter an SMS security code that will be sent to your mobile device (so make sure you take it with you to Tax Help appointments).

If you've logged 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 services.

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 services

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 services 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 their myGov account to the ATO.
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 linking code (linking codes are explained in Helping clients link myGov to the ATO).

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

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

When you phone 1800 644 104, make sure you are requesting a THV access code. You may need to direct the officer to the relevant scripting, make sure they are looking for Access codes.

When the officer knows about Tax Help

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

  • search their 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 the officer doesn't know about Tax Help

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

  • search their 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 officer 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 services 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 the ATO

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

The linking code is for:

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

Getting a linking code

To get a 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 linking code.

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

Sometimes the officer may not be aware of Tax Help or linking codes.

When you phone us, make sure you are requesting a linking code for the client to link their myGov account to the ATO. You may need to direct the officer to the relevant scripting.

When the officer knows about Tax Help

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

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

If the officer doesn't know about Tax Help

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

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

The officer 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 officer 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 officer to:

  • search their 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.

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