Tax professionals community

Welcome

The Tax professionals community has been created to encourage open and interactive conversations about the future of the tax industry.

This community is for people working across the tax industry including tax agents, BAS agents, associations and software developers. It provides an avenue to connect with each other, to talk about issues and ideas for managing change.

My colleagues and I will also be contributing to these online discussions and listening to your feedback. We will regularly add new resources including videos, presentations and live debates to support conversations with your peers and your staff.

I encourage you to participate and look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Chris Jordan AO, Commissioner of Taxation

*You need to register to participate in site activities and receive project updates.

Welcome

The Tax professionals community has been created to encourage open and interactive conversations about the future of the tax industry.

This community is for people working across the tax industry including tax agents, BAS agents, associations and software developers. It provides an avenue to connect with each other, to talk about issues and ideas for managing change.

My colleagues and I will also be contributing to these online discussions and listening to your feedback. We will regularly add new resources including videos, presentations and live debates to support conversations with your peers and your staff.

I encourage you to participate and look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Chris Jordan AO, Commissioner of Taxation

*You need to register to participate in site activities and receive project updates.

Latest news

  • Did you miss our live panel discussions?

    3 months ago
    Livepanel

    Practitioner lodgment service (PLS) and changes to the tax profession more broadly.

    Panellists from the ATO along with representatives for tax agents, BAS agents and software developers talked about changes relating to practitioner lodgment service (PLS) and cloud authentication. The discussion also covered:

    • the Client communication list (CCL), portals and the portal dashboards
    • changes to practice management software
    • what is happening with ELS and how Standard business reporting (SBR) relates to PLS
    • the complex issues resolution service

    Panellists also answered a range of questions submitted by tax professionals who were viewing the webcast in real time.

    If you missed the live sessions, you can now watch the on-demand recordings. Both discussions cover the same topics, although the questions submitted by viewers differed between the two. You can view the morning and/or afternoon recordings by selecting ‘Launch webcast’ on the bottom right of the page.

    Join the conversation and tell us what you thought of the discussion?


    Practitioner lodgment service (PLS) and changes to the tax profession more broadly.

    Panellists from the ATO along with representatives for tax agents, BAS agents and software developers talked about changes relating to practitioner lodgment service (PLS) and cloud authentication. The discussion also covered:

    • the Client communication list (CCL), portals and the portal dashboards
    • changes to practice management software
    • what is happening with ELS and how Standard business reporting (SBR) relates to PLS
    • the complex issues resolution service

    Panellists also answered a range of questions submitted by tax professionals who were viewing the webcast in real time.

    If you missed the live sessions, you can now watch the on-demand recordings. Both discussions cover the same topics, although the questions submitted by viewers differed between the two. You can view the morning and/or afternoon recordings by selecting ‘Launch webcast’ on the bottom right of the page.

    Join the conversation and tell us what you thought of the discussion?


  • Timeline of events for tax professionals

    6 months ago

    Working together, we have recently updated information on our timeline of events for tax professionals.

    This timeline contains the latest information from professional associations, software developers and the ATO. It is designed to help you to understand the changes impacting you, your clients and your future role.

    We welcome any feedback that you have regarding the timeline, please email ATO-Taxagents@ato.gov.au



    Working together, we have recently updated information on our timeline of events for tax professionals.

    This timeline contains the latest information from professional associations, software developers and the ATO. It is designed to help you to understand the changes impacting you, your clients and your future role.

    We welcome any feedback that you have regarding the timeline, please email ATO-Taxagents@ato.gov.au



  • Questions from November live webcast answered

    9 months ago

    During the November 16 webcast, a number of recurring questions were asked of the panel. Answers to these questions are below.

    Why are you phoning BAS Agents when their clients are late with BAS payments? We are not responsible for our client's cash flow.

    External collection agencies calling to discuss payment of a taxpayer’s outstanding tax debt will contact the authorised contact in the first instance. In many instances this will be the taxpayer’s tax practitioner. The external collection agencies will make direct contact with clients if their contact number is the only number present on their ATO record.

    When can Tax Professionals use their Windows 10 computers to work with ATO systems?
    Windows 10 compatibility depends on the ATO system in question. Below is a summary.

    AUSkey
    AUSkey is not compatible with Microsoft Edge (which is the default browser for Windows 10). However, AUSkey can be accessed within Windows 10 using a compatible browser such as Internet Explorer 11 or the latest version of Firefox. AUSkey on USB is also compatible. You can follow this advice to install Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10.

    ELS
    There is a known connectivity issue between ELS and both Windows 8 and Windows 10, as Cisco VPN Client is no longer supported by Windows. If you intend to use Windows 8 or Windows 10 for ELS lodgments, please contact your ELS software provider for advice. The Cisco AnyConnect product which superseded the VPN Client is supported on both Windows 8 and Windows 10.

    Portal
    There are no Windows 10 compatibility issues directly related to the Tax and BAS agent portals. However you will need to refer to the AUSkey Compatibility page for a list of browsers and operating systems that are compatible with AUSkeys. If you are using Windows 10, you can follow this advice to install Internet Explorer 11 to ensure compatibility.

    Why is the Portal down so often for urgent system maintenance?
    The ATO’s Portals are entry points for tax professionals to access a range of systems aimed at enabling their practice.

    While agents utilise the portal to interact with the ATO, the portal itself is merely a doorway to many other systems that the ATO uses to administer the tax and superannuation systems. The majority of issues related to portal performance and functional availability have been caused by issues with other systems. These other systems include Access Manager, the Internet Security Framework, Integrated Core Processing, Mainframe, Bulk Data Exchange, and ATO infrastructure. If these systems do not work then agents can experience portal unavailability, reduced performance or limited functionality.

    Portal hardware and software upgrades did occur in January and April 2015. Most of the remaining system outages over the past 12 months were related to the ongoing program of work to upgrade our internal systems and infrastructure to meet legislative requirements, as we move towards increasing our digital capacity.

    Is there a way we can be advised either via email or text message of a client being issued correspondence directly, rather than relying on checking the portal?
    While this is currently not available, a subscription-based notification is being considered for future updates. We are also considering a preference/subscription type service. At this stage we are unable to advise if or when this will be implemented.

    I seem to regularly receive correspondence for ex clients no longer on my client list, some of whom were removed years ago. In one instance I received mail for an ex-client’s estate. Why is this happening and what can I do to stop this?
    Please refer to an earlier article which explains why this may occur and how to prevent it from happening.

    Can we download multiple client documents from the portal at once, instead of drilling into each client's document and downloading them one at a time?
    While the Client correspondence list may return multiple pieces of correspondence, you can only download one piece of correspondence at a time.

    I’m trying to lodge an agent assessed deferral request via the BAS portal, but I keep getting an error message that I haven’t attached a current form. However, I have definitely attached the form, so what is happening here?
    The lodgment deferral form for registered agents has been updated several times – you’ll find the latest at the following link https://www.ato.gov.au/Forms/Lodgment-deferrals---for-registered-agents/

    If you are using the latest form and continue to experience issues, please call 13 72 86 fast key code 33 so that we can investigate further.

    During the November 16 webcast, a number of recurring questions were asked of the panel. Answers to these questions are below.

    Why are you phoning BAS Agents when their clients are late with BAS payments? We are not responsible for our client's cash flow.

    External collection agencies calling to discuss payment of a taxpayer’s outstanding tax debt will contact the authorised contact in the first instance. In many instances this will be the taxpayer’s tax practitioner. The external collection agencies will make direct contact with clients if their contact number is the only number present on their ATO record.

    When can Tax Professionals use their Windows 10 computers to work with ATO systems?
    Windows 10 compatibility depends on the ATO system in question. Below is a summary.

    AUSkey
    AUSkey is not compatible with Microsoft Edge (which is the default browser for Windows 10). However, AUSkey can be accessed within Windows 10 using a compatible browser such as Internet Explorer 11 or the latest version of Firefox. AUSkey on USB is also compatible. You can follow this advice to install Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10.

    ELS
    There is a known connectivity issue between ELS and both Windows 8 and Windows 10, as Cisco VPN Client is no longer supported by Windows. If you intend to use Windows 8 or Windows 10 for ELS lodgments, please contact your ELS software provider for advice. The Cisco AnyConnect product which superseded the VPN Client is supported on both Windows 8 and Windows 10.

    Portal
    There are no Windows 10 compatibility issues directly related to the Tax and BAS agent portals. However you will need to refer to the AUSkey Compatibility page for a list of browsers and operating systems that are compatible with AUSkeys. If you are using Windows 10, you can follow this advice to install Internet Explorer 11 to ensure compatibility.

    Why is the Portal down so often for urgent system maintenance?
    The ATO’s Portals are entry points for tax professionals to access a range of systems aimed at enabling their practice.

    While agents utilise the portal to interact with the ATO, the portal itself is merely a doorway to many other systems that the ATO uses to administer the tax and superannuation systems. The majority of issues related to portal performance and functional availability have been caused by issues with other systems. These other systems include Access Manager, the Internet Security Framework, Integrated Core Processing, Mainframe, Bulk Data Exchange, and ATO infrastructure. If these systems do not work then agents can experience portal unavailability, reduced performance or limited functionality.

    Portal hardware and software upgrades did occur in January and April 2015. Most of the remaining system outages over the past 12 months were related to the ongoing program of work to upgrade our internal systems and infrastructure to meet legislative requirements, as we move towards increasing our digital capacity.

    Is there a way we can be advised either via email or text message of a client being issued correspondence directly, rather than relying on checking the portal?
    While this is currently not available, a subscription-based notification is being considered for future updates. We are also considering a preference/subscription type service. At this stage we are unable to advise if or when this will be implemented.

    I seem to regularly receive correspondence for ex clients no longer on my client list, some of whom were removed years ago. In one instance I received mail for an ex-client’s estate. Why is this happening and what can I do to stop this?
    Please refer to an earlier article which explains why this may occur and how to prevent it from happening.

    Can we download multiple client documents from the portal at once, instead of drilling into each client's document and downloading them one at a time?
    While the Client correspondence list may return multiple pieces of correspondence, you can only download one piece of correspondence at a time.

    I’m trying to lodge an agent assessed deferral request via the BAS portal, but I keep getting an error message that I haven’t attached a current form. However, I have definitely attached the form, so what is happening here?
    The lodgment deferral form for registered agents has been updated several times – you’ll find the latest at the following link https://www.ato.gov.au/Forms/Lodgment-deferrals---for-registered-agents/

    If you are using the latest form and continue to experience issues, please call 13 72 86 fast key code 33 so that we can investigate further.

  • Digital by default consultation

    9 months ago
    To deliver contemporary digital experiences, we are proposing an initiative called Digital by default. We want to work with you on this initiative. To start the ball rolling, we are asking you to read the consultation paper and tell us what you think. Consultation is open from 30 November 2015 to 29 January 2016.
    To deliver contemporary digital experiences, we are proposing an initiative called Digital by default. We want to work with you on this initiative. To start the ball rolling, we are asking you to read the consultation paper and tell us what you think. Consultation is open from 30 November 2015 to 29 January 2016.
  • Have your say about the fixing the basics live webcast

    10 months ago

    Did you miss the chance to ask a question about the live panel discussion ‘Fixing the basics now for better services in 2016’?

    Head to the discussion board now and post a question or comment about today’s live webcast.

    Did you miss the chance to ask a question about the live panel discussion ‘Fixing the basics now for better services in 2016’?

    Head to the discussion board now and post a question or comment about today’s live webcast.

  • Have your say at our next live webcast, 16 November

    10 months ago

    Join the next live panel discussion on Monday 16 November; 2pm EST.

    Contribute your comments and questions to the ATO panel as they discuss what we are doing to fix the basics now, for better services in 2016 and beyond.

    The panel will provide you with updates on current digital initiatives, including:

    • the Client correspondence list, the portals and the new portal dashboard
    • changes to practice management software including authorisation and authentication
    • integrating end-to-end services to improve experiences for you and you clients
    • using data and analytics to create services which better meet you and your clients' situation in the future.

    This live webcast is your opportunity to ask the panel questions and join the conversation about how these changes may affect you and your clients.

    Put forward suggestions of the topics you want covered before the webcast, by heading over to our discussion board now and posting your questions or comments.

    Join the next live panel discussion on Monday 16 November; 2pm EST.

    Contribute your comments and questions to the ATO panel as they discuss what we are doing to fix the basics now, for better services in 2016 and beyond.

    The panel will provide you with updates on current digital initiatives, including:

    • the Client correspondence list, the portals and the new portal dashboard
    • changes to practice management software including authorisation and authentication
    • integrating end-to-end services to improve experiences for you and you clients
    • using data and analytics to create services which better meet you and your clients' situation in the future.

    This live webcast is your opportunity to ask the panel questions and join the conversation about how these changes may affect you and your clients.

    Put forward suggestions of the topics you want covered before the webcast, by heading over to our discussion board now and posting your questions or comments.

  • Future of the tax profession 2020 working group

    10 months ago

    The Future of the Tax Profession 2020 Working Group met on Thursday 30 July 2015.

    This workshop set the context for our future engagements with you and will support ongoing development of major programs of work to reinvent our clients' experience in the tax and super systems. The discussion included:

    • Moving the focus away from 'today' and looking at trends affecting the future of the tax and super system.
    • Sharing the outcomes we are working to deliver for each client group identified in the Reinventing the ATO Blueprint from a whole of tax and super perspective.
    • Creating a shared understanding of the characteristics of a strong partnership.
    • Starting to understand the future role of intermediaries and different partners, including tax professionals and software developers.

    Take a look at the talkbook to learn more about the topics discussed and the outcomes of the meeting. A text version is also available.

    Leave a comment and let us know what you think about the topics discussed at the workshop.

    The Future of the Tax Profession 2020 Working Group met on Thursday 30 July 2015.

    This workshop set the context for our future engagements with you and will support ongoing development of major programs of work to reinvent our clients' experience in the tax and super systems. The discussion included:

    • Moving the focus away from 'today' and looking at trends affecting the future of the tax and super system.
    • Sharing the outcomes we are working to deliver for each client group identified in the Reinventing the ATO Blueprint from a whole of tax and super perspective.
    • Creating a shared understanding of the characteristics of a strong partnership.
    • Starting to understand the future role of intermediaries and different partners, including tax professionals and software developers.

    Take a look at the talkbook to learn more about the topics discussed and the outcomes of the meeting. A text version is also available.

    Leave a comment and let us know what you think about the topics discussed at the workshop.

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  • Get portal availability updates

    10 months ago

    We recently released the Tax Agent Portal dashboard. This tool shows tax agents if the Tax Agent Portal is available or experiencing issues.

    Visit the Tax Agent Portal Dashboard.

    We recently released the Tax Agent Portal dashboard. This tool shows tax agents if the Tax Agent Portal is available or experiencing issues.

    Visit the Tax Agent Portal Dashboard.

  • Join the conversation

    11 months ago

    What did you think of the live panel discussion ‘Embracing the digital world to better our clients’ experiences’?

    Join the conversation and tell us what you thought of the discussion?

    What did you think of the live panel discussion ‘Embracing the digital world to better our clients’ experiences’?

    Join the conversation and tell us what you thought of the discussion?

  • How will the 2015–16 changes affect you?

    about 1 year ago

    Published 1 July 2015

    Learn about the changes occurring this year that will affect you by watching this video. Changes include:

    • how we are improving portal services
    • what is happening to your practice management software
    • how we will assist you through this transition.


    A transcript of the video is also available.

    Tell us your thoughts on our discussion board.


    Published 1 July 2015

    Learn about the changes occurring this year that will affect you by watching this video. Changes include:

    • how we are improving portal services
    • what is happening to your practice management software
    • how we will assist you through this transition.


    A transcript of the video is also available.

    Tell us your thoughts on our discussion board.