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ATO busts some myGovID myths

The ATO has published a list of myth busters addressing concerns about myGovID raised by tax professionals.

ATO busts some myGovID myths
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • March 17, 2020
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The Australia Taxation Office has published some of the most common concerns tax professionals have raised about myGovID, which will become the default login option for online services for agents at the end of this month.

Among them are questions about phone suitability and security issues, with many agents concerned with the safety of client information. 

Below we bring you ATO's myth busting advice in its entirety: 

You don't need an expensive phone for myGovID to work, but you do need to check compatibility

The myGovID app is compatible with smart devices running Apple iOS 10 or above or Android Nougat 7.0 or above, and compatible devices are currently available from as little as $99.

However, there are some new devices that are not compatible with myGovID, including those using the Android Go and Android One operating systems.

You don't need to have a phone plan to use myGovID

Your app will work with a Wi-Fi connection, so if you have an internet connection (which you need to access Online services for agents) then you will be able to use your myGovID app without a phone plan.

myGovID is not the same as myGov

They sound similar, but are very different. MyGovID is an app you download to your smart device to prove who you are when you log in to government online services.

MyGov is an account you set up and then link to the government online services that you want to use.

You can still use Online services for agents on your desktop

Your smart device is only required for the log in step, you can access ATO online services from any browser or device. That means if you currently use Online services for agents on your desktop computer you can continue doing so, the only thing that will change is how you log in.

MyGovID is an easier login process than AUSkey

While the time-out period remains exactly the same as with AUSkey. Logging back into Online services for agents is faster and easier when you select 'Remember me' on the myGovID authentication page in your browser. You won’t need to enter your email in your browser or type the four-digit access code in the myGovID app each time you sign in, all you need to do is click 'Accept' in the app.

Additionally, you can enable security features in your device such as fingerprint or face recognition, instead of typing in a password when opening the myGovID app.

You should start using your myGovID now, don't wait until after 27 March

You should start using your myGovID to log into ATO services now to ensure you are familiar with the process before AUSkey is closed.

There will be no extension of access to AUSkey, so you will need to be completely familiar with the myGovID process before 27 March.

MyGovID is more secure than AUSkey

Contemporary security standards require multi-factor authentication to verify that the person logging in is who they say they are. AUSkey does not meet those standards.

MyGovID uses the latest secure technology used by many large institutions around the globe. It gives practice owners more visibility over who has been authorised to access client information on behalf of their business.

If you can’t meet the standard identity strength, you won’t be able to use myGovID

If you're unable to meet the standard identity strength required to access the online services, you may be able to meet basic identity strength. Basic users are subject to restricted access. You will need to meet additional proof of identity (POI) requirements, which can take extra time. If your staff don't have an Australian tax file number (TFN) they should send in their POI information as soon as possible.

For staff with an Australian TFN, from next week they will be able to call up to complete POI over the phone.

Staff will not have unregulated access to Online services for agents

The principal authority or their authorised administrator controls who is authorised to act on behalf of the practice and can customise their access using Access Manager. This has not changed. All logins to Online services for agents using a myGovID on behalf of a practice will be logged and those logs will be made available to the practice.

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