• Business Portal FAQs

    Liquidators and voluntary administrators can use the Business Portal to manage the tax affairs of the incapacitated businesses they represent.

    The portal, a secure website for managing business tax affairs, allows users to:

    • prepare and lodge business activity statements online
    • submit correspondence electronically
    • request refunds online
    • view account balances
      • view, prepare, lodge and revise activity statements
      • view statements of account
      • update details.
       

    Follow the links below for Business Portal FAQs categories:

    Access to the Business Portal

    What types of insolvency practitioners can access an incapacitated entity’s details via the portal?

    Liquidators and voluntary administrators are able to manage an incapacitated entity’s tax affairs via the portal.

    Can portal access be granted to more than one insolvency practitioner for an insolvent entity?

    No. Only the currently appointed insolvency practitioner will have access to the incapacitated entity on the portal.

    Is the portal secure?

    Yes. AUSkey is required to access the portal. AUSkey is a secure login that identifies you when you use participating government online services on behalf of a business. It ensures the security and privacy of information when interacting with us via the portal.

    Who is eligible to have an AUSkey?

    A business must have an Australian business number (ABN) to register for an AUSkey. Multiple AUSkeys can be registered to an ABN, enabling all staff in a practice to have access to the portal.

    How do I get the first AUSkey for my firm?

    To register for an AUSkey you need to:

    The initial AUSkey registration will need to be completed by an 'eligible associate' of the ABN – for example, a named partner of a partnership or director of a company. This is because the first AUSkey issued will be an administrator AUSkey. Once a customer's registration request for an AUSkey is approved an email is sent within 24 hours. The email includes instructions on how to download and install AUSkey.

    Does one AUSkey give everyone in a practice access to the portal?

    No. Each individual in a firm must have their own AUSkey. Each AUSkey will have its own permissions which will dictate its level of access.

    Can an AUSkey be shared?

    No. You cannot share your AUSkey. Each individual requiring access to the portal will need to register for an AUSkey. Sharing an AUSkey is a breach of the terms and conditions agreed to when an AUSkey is generated.

    When an AUSkey is installed a password must be selected. You must not share your password with anyone and you should change it regularly at abr.gov.au/AUSkeyExternal Link.

    If staff members share a computer, each person should set up their own profile or account to prevent inappropriate use or access of another AUSkey stored on the computer.

    Is there a limit to the number of AUSkeys a practice can hold?

    No. There is no limit to the number of individuals who can hold administrator or standard AUSkeys within a business.

    Does an AUSkey have an expiry date?

    No. As long as you use your AUSkey at least once every 12 months it will not expire. If your AUSkey does expire because it has not been used in that period you must register for a new one.

    Business Portal permissions

    What is an administrator AUSkey?

    The person who applies for the initial AUSkey is granted an administrator AUSkey for the ABN. They can create subsequent administrator or standard AUSkeys for the practice.

    We recommended that this is a trusted person, as administrator AUSkeys allow unrestricted access to the practice's own portal.

    The administrator AUSkey holder for the practice also manages the privileges and permissions given to other AUSkey holders. The administrator AUSkey becomes the ‘access administrator’ in Access Manager.

    What is a standard AUSkey?

    A standard AUSkey holder is able to view business information and act on behalf of businesses to which they have been granted access by an administrator AUSkey.

    What permissions does a standard AUSkey holder have within the practice?

    Under My business details permissions are:

    • view and update business registrations details
    • add/update financial institution details
    • view account details
    • submit refund and transfer requests.

    Under ATO transactions are:

    • view, prepare, lodge or revise activity statements
    • prepare and lodge fringe benefits tax returns, PAYG payment summaries, tax file number declarations, non-individual income tax returns and self-managed super fund annual returns.

    Under Administration:

    • view and action own mail
    • access other users’ mail.

    All permissions can be selected using the Select all button or specific permissions can be selected by checking the appropriate check box.

    Can I ensure my staff are able to access only the records of insolvent entities and not records of the practice itself?

    Yes. There are two separate sets of permissions. One for your own business and one for any incapacitated entities you have been appointed to. An administrator AUSkey can arrange for standard AUSkey holders to be active but have no, or limited, permissions for the practice itself.

    When we give you access to an insolvent entity via the portal we set the overall business permissions (usually all) available to the practice. Administrator AUSkey holders then set the permissions for individuals in your practice for the insolvent entity, via the ‘Whose business I can access’ link in online Access Manager.

    Why can staff in the practice see the practice’s own tax records?

    Standard AUSkeys will only be able to access the practice's details on the portal if permissions have been granted by an administrator AUSkey. These permissions can be set by logging onto abr.gov.au/AUSkeyExternal Link and selecting Managing AUSkeys.

    I am a new standard AUSkey holder but can't access any ATO online services. What should I do?

    First log in to the portal, so our system recognises your AUSkey, and then notify your AUSkey administrator that you require their permissions to be set. Your administrator AUSkey holder must activate your portal access and set up your permissions in Access Manager before you can access our online services.

    What is Access Manager?

    Access Manager (AM) is a system for managing access and permissions in the portal. AM provides security and allows administrator AUSkey holders (who are access administrators in Access Manager) to control access to secure tax information of the practice and for any insolvent entities for which portal access has been granted.

    Where is Access Manager located?

    Administrator AUSkey holders can access AM directly from the portal.

    What is a delegated administrator?

    Generally, holders of a standard AUSkey are not able to enter AM. However, holders of an administrator AUSkey (access managers) can appoint a standard AUSkey holder as a delegated administrator. This allows the delegated administrator to delegate their own access to other standard AUSkey holders. However, they are not able to modify their own access or appoint other delegated administrators.

    Can a liquidator or voluntary administrator use Access Manager to appoint themselves to have access to an insolvent entity’s portal?

    No. The appointment must be done in Access Manager by the ATO. Requests for access to client details in the portal can be made by selecting Yes to the question on page 2 of the form, Appointment or cessation of a representative of an incapacitated entity (PDF, 382KB)This link will download a file. We will notify you when your access has been granted.

    How can I manage existing appointments using the portal?

    Where you have already notified us about your appointment as a liquidator or voluntary administrator, you can request direct client access to manage your existing appointments using the portal.

    To request portal access to the entity, send a secure message under the Insolvency subject and relevant topic in the portal and attach a document – written on your practice's letterhead – requesting access. The document must outline:

    • the entity's name and ABN
    • your practice's ABN, to which your AUSkey is registered
    • the type of appointment.

    As with new appointments, we will notify you when we have granted access.

    Do all AUSkey holders in the practice automatically have access to details of incapacitated entities?

    No. To give individual staff in the practice access to an entity’s administrator AUSkey holder or delegated administrator will need to:

    • log on to Access Manager
    • select Whose business I have access to
    • select the Australian business number (ABN) of the insolvent entity to view the permissions allocated to the practice
    • select View authorised credential holders
    • select Authorised new credential holder
    • select the permissions you want each individual user to have.

    Which permissions do staff in the practice need to be able to view accounts and activity statements of an incapacitated entity?

    To view itemised details for various accounts, the AUSkey administrator will need to select View account details under the Business details heading.

    To view activity statements that have already been lodged, the AUSkey administrator will need to select View for activity statements in the ATO transactions category.

    What happens if the practice’s legal name or ABN changes?

    You will need to cancel the ABN. As soon as the current ABN is cancelled the AUSkey is also cancelled. To continue dealing with us online you will need to register for an AUSkey under the new ABN.

    Business Portal

    When is the portal available?

    It is a 24/7 service.

    How do I notify the ATO that I want to manage a newly appointed incapacitated entity using the portal?

    You can request access to client details in the portal by selecting Yes to the question on page 2 of the form, Appointment or cessation of a representative of an incapacitated entity (PDF, 382KB)This link will download a file. We will notify you when we grant access.

    You can send your completed form as an attachment to a secure message under the Insolvency topic in the portal. You will receive confirmation when we grant portal access to the relevant entity.

    The administrative AUSkey holder will then need to:

    • log on to Access Manager
    • select Whose business I have access to
    • select the Australian business number (ABN) of the insolvent entity to view the permissions allocated to the practice
    • select View authorised credential holders
    • select Authorised new credential holder
    • select the desired permissions for each individual user.

    The nominated staff members can then use the portal to manage the incapacitated entity’s accounts.

    Can I use the portal for existing appointments?

    Yes. Where you have previously notified us, liquidators and voluntary administrators can manage existing appointments using the portal. To request portal access to the entity, send a secure message under the Insolvency topic in the portal. Attach a request, written on your practice's letterhead, outlining:

    • the entity’s name and ABN.
    • your practice’s ABN (which your AUSkey is registered to)
    • type of appointment.

    We will then be able to give your access to these additional entities.

    What are the advantages for liquidators and voluntary administrators of using the portal to access records of incapacitated entities they have been appointed to?

    Liquidators and voluntary administrators can use the portal to manage appointments electronically, in real time. Use of the portal reduces reliance on paper correspondence and phone enquiries.

    The portal allows insolvency practitioners to access and print itemised accounts of the incapacitated entities they have been appointed to. It includes both income tax accounts and integrated client accounts.

    Can I print account records from the portal?

    Yes. There is a Printer friendly version button on all Account details screens. Selecting this takes you to a new window where you select the printer icon in the internet bar to print. You will need to close this window to return to the portal screens.

    See also:

    Last modified: 31 Mar 2016QC 38189