ATO flicks switch on Online services for business
The Australian Taxation Office has ‘flicked the switch’ on Online services for business, replacing its existing Business Portal.
Online services for business has become the ATO’s default service for businesses that interact directly with the ATO online, with the existing Business Portal put to rest after 17 years.
“The Business Portal has served us well over the last 17 years, but it’s time to replace it with a much more contemporary service that’s been developed with business so we know they’ll enjoy using it,” said ATO deputy commissioner Deborah Jenkins.
“We’ve done extensive testing with clients. In the spirit of designing with the end-user in mind, many businesses have been involved in the development of the service from the very beginning, and we are grateful for the valuable feedback we’ve received. We’ve made many tweaks and improvements to the service as a result and continue to work through how we can further improve the experience for all businesses as they transition to our online platform.”
The new "contemporary" and easier-to-use service can be accessed on phones or tablets, and is sighted to make it easier for businesses to interact with the ATO online, while providing a secure channel to manage their tax and super obligations.
In addition to providing the services available in the Business Portal, Online services for business allows users to access new services, including:
- view and print tax returns and income tax history;
- create payment plans;
- switch between your businesses with a single log in;
- customise your homepage; and
- access new secure mail subjects.
“The new time-saving features include the ‘switch ABN’ function, that allows clients to easily move between the businesses they manage without having to log out and back in again. Businesses have also told us they love being able to organise a payment plan with us online using the service rather than calling us, which saves them precious time,” Ms Jenkins said.
“We’ve seen a great increase in participation from small business owners making the switch to the new service. Businesses in the professional, scientific and technical services and construction sectors have been quick to jump on board. We’d like to see more of manufacturing, retail trade, health care and social assistance businesses also start using the service.”
Businesses can start using Online services for business, by logging in with their myGovID as they did for the Business Portal. Those new to the online services will need to set up a myGovID and be linked to their organisation through Relationship Authorisation Manager.
“We understand this year has, and continues to be, challenging for many clients. We know businesses have a lot on their plate so we will maintain the electronic superannuation tool (eSAT) and Business Portal for a transition period over the coming months to help users adjust to the new service,” Ms Jenkins concluded.
"We are here to support businesses through this transition and whilst the new service will ensure an improved experience across a range of services, it is important to note that it is not a replacement for the professional advisory services provided by tax professionals.”