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On 18 December 2014, Tax Counsel Thilini Wickramasuriya FTI attended a meeting of the ATO’s Future Tax Industry Working Group for 2015/16. The group is comprised of members who are representatives of professional associations, tax practitioners, software developers and the ATO.

The key points from the were as follows:

  • By 18 March 2015, the ATO will be publishing a ‘roadmap’ which will contain agreed details of when the ATO and other key stakeholders will be delivering key updates to systems and software.
  • ELS will be unavailable for Tax Time 2016. Software developers noted that their ability to meet this deadline for enabling lodgments through SBR depends on timely access to ATO information.
  • Software developers noted that additional functionality through SBR is unlikely to occur by Tax Time 2016, as they are focussing on migrating 2016 tax return forms into that system as a priority. 
  • The Portal will not disappear, only improve, as part of these changes.
  • The ATO will be publishing a ‘talk book’ detailing the discussions of this working group on its website this month.

Members who seek further information in relation to the above should contact us at Tax Policy.