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21 Nov 2019 ATO message to The Tax Institute members: New digital identity solution

With only 5 months until the decommissioning of AUSkey, the ATO is now entering a critical stage in the deployment of the new Digital Identity solution. During this time, the ATO will continue to communicate the upcoming changes and share relevant information to Institute members via TaxVine and on the ATO website. The ATO encourages members to transition as soon as possible. 

Some key changes: 

  • The Australian Government and the ATO take online safety, security and privacy seriously, so from the end of March 2020, access to the ATO’s online services will require the end user to be verified as an individual and specifically authorised to act on behalf of a business.
  • AUSkey will officially be decommissioned and replaced with myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM), which together give authorised users a secure, simple and flexible alternative for accessing the ATO’s online services.
  • The ATO will no longer support a desktop or browser-based solution where access is granted to a device used by multiple persons.
  • The ATO has been working with Digital service providers (DSPs) over the last 18 months to develop a new Machine to Machine credential to replace the Device AUSkey. This solution will be available in production from November and will ensure users can continue to access our services via their software.

While there are some aspects of the functionality  still being worked on, members are encouraged to do preparatory work now to make the overall transition much smoother, including ensuring AUSkey and ABR data is up-to-date. 

The ATO is committed to supporting members of The Tax Institute to make the transition. Information on how agents can transition, along with a range of support materials, is available at myGovID and RAM for tax professionals. You can also download the following user guides and FAQs: 

Over the coming months the ATO will increase activity to help agents to transition, including: 

  • providing existing AUSkey holders with links to relevant support materials as they become available, including information about what to do if someone is unable to establish their Australian identity; and
  • working directly with large practices and using traditional channels, such as webinars, to communicate the messages more broadly. 

Further material will be published in due course.

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