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ATO Online services for business terms and conditions

Outlines the obligations of a user of Online services for business.

Last updated 22 December 2020

Terms and conditions of use of Online services for business

When we say:

  • we, us and our – we mean the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
  • you and your – we mean you as the user of Online services for business
  • Online services for business – we mean this electronic data system that we provide
  • person – we mean an individual, a partnership and anybody whether incorporated or not.

How these terms and conditions apply

These terms and conditions apply to your current use of Online services for business.

These terms and conditions, your use of Online services for business, and information provided to you through Online services for business, are governed by the laws in force in the Australian Capital Territory, Australia.

Your obligations as a user of Online services for business

1. Access security

When you use a security credential to access Online services for business, you must:

  • comply with the terms and conditions that relate to that security credential
  • keep that security credential secure at all times
  • not disclose that security credential to, or share it with, others.

You must not access Online services for business if access has either:

  • not been issued to you
  • been revoked by its issuing authority.

If the security credential issued to you has been compromised, or if there is any change in the information on which the issue of your security credential was based, you must notify the issuing authority immediately.

2. Permitted use of Online services for business

Businesses and approved self-managed super fund (SMSF) auditors are permitted use of Online services for business for the following functions and purposes:

  • managing your business and personal details
  • lodging or submitting certain forms
  • sending secure messages
  • viewing your business tax information
  • viewing your communication preferences
  • viewing, creating and updating payment plans
  • maintaining and updating payment methods.

3. Data security

Data about individuals and entities provided to you through Online services for business is confidential. You must ensure that unauthorised persons do not have access to that data. If your computer will be unattended, even briefly, you must log out of Online services for business or lock your computer – see Online security for more information.

4. Acting for another person

To use Online services for business to access data relating to, or to carry out a transaction for another person, you must be currently appointed by that other person to access that data or carry out that transaction on their behalf. That appointment must not have been revoked.

If your appointment is:

  • based on you holding a certain position (for example, as that other person’s employee or agent for tax purposes) – you must currently hold that position
  • under the Corporations Act 2001 to act on behalf of the entity in your capacity as an insolvency practitioner – this appointment must be current

5. Employee access

If you are permitting access for employees to use Online services for business, you must ensure access is restricted to your employees and they are aware of and comply with these terms and conditions.

6. System use

Our digital services (including Online services for business) are designed and intended for human interaction only and must not be used for any other purpose than those outlined in these terms and conditions.

By using Online services for business for the permitted uses as outlined in these terms and conditions it will ensure consistent system performance is maintained for all users.

You must ensure you do not, agree not to, enable others to cause disruption to the system.

This means that you are not allowed to use any third-party software or programs (like bots, scraper tools) to access, monitor, or copy Online services for business or its contents unless we have given you permission to do so.

7. Breach of terms and conditions

If you breach any of these terms and conditions, you must immediately:

  • advise us of that breach
  • stop using Online services for business until we advise you can.

A breach of these terms and conditions may result in one or more of the following actions:

  • a direction to change your system usage
  • suspending your access to the service
  • terminating your access to the service.

8. Digital correspondence

By accepting these terms and conditions, you are agreeing to receive correspondence from us electronically.

There may be situations where correspondence is sent to you via multiple channels. This occurs because we need to meet the deemed service provisions contained in the Taxation Administration Regulations 2017 and mandatory service requirements under the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

9. Responsibility for actions

You will be responsible for (and you indemnify us against) any loss or damage to any person from either any:

  • breach by you of these terms and conditions
  • wilful, negligent or unlawful act or omission by you in relation to, or in the course of using Online services for business.

However, your liability to us will be reduced to the extent that any wilful, negligent or unlawful act or omission by us has contributed to that loss or damage.

Your responsibility for activities undertaken by you through Online services for business (for example, for updates, notices, statements, applications and other documents transmitted to us) will continue despite you ceasing to use Online services for business or having access to it.

Our obligations

1. Privacy and secrecy obligations

For information about your privacy, refer to the Privacy policy. We will ensure that Online services for business complies with these laws at all times.

2. Provision of Online services for business

We can:

  • limit your ability to use Online services for business
  • terminate your access to Online services for business at any time
  • work out the times and periods which Online services for business transmissions can take place
  • vary the terms and conditions of use of Online services for business (so the terms and conditions applicable when you next use Online services for business may be different from these terms and conditions)
  • review the activities of users of Online services for business to ensure they are meeting the relevant terms and conditions of use.

3. Online services for business and linked sites

Online services for business may not contain all the information that you need. We do not prepare (or necessarily endorse) the information not on our sites, even if linked to our site. We take no responsibility for your use of a site we are not responsible for or the information on it.

4. Information sent via Online services for business

We are not responsible for:

  • the accuracy, veracity and completeness of material transmitted to us
  • errors in the manner of the input of material transmitted to us
  • any information you may lose as a result of equipment or power failures or our servers terminating your session due to prolonged periods of inactivity.

5. Limited liability

We will not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or exemplary damages (including for loss of profits, goodwill, information, data or other intangible losses) resulting from:

  • the use or inability to use Online services for business
  • unauthorised access or alterations of your transmissions to or from Online services for business
  • activities resulting from the loss or misuse of your security credential
  • statements or conduct of any third party
  • any other matter relating to Online services for business.

6. No warranties by us

Except as specified in these terms and conditions, we give no implied or express warranties in relation to the use of Online services for business. All statutory warranties are, to the fullest extent permitted by law, expressly excluded.

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