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25 Nov 2021 ATO News

Commissioner’s address to the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) National Congress 2021 

Last week, Commissioner of Taxation, Chris Jordan AO, CTA, acknowledged the efforts of the tax profession over the past 24 months in his address to the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) National Congress 2021. 

Read his speech to see what he had to say about working together to meet the changing needs of clients. 

ATO systems availability over the holiday season 

ATO offices will be closed from midday Friday 24 December 2021 until Tuesday 4 January 2022. During this time, the ATO will be undertaking important system maintenance and ATO online services may be unavailable. 

For a list of upcoming systems maintenance visit the ATO’s system maintenance page, or for real-time system availability, operational dashboards are available 24 hours a day. 

Support for your practice 

Reach out to the ATO for help if your whole practice has been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. There are a range of support services to help including the Supported lodgment program. 

Support for your clients 

Many businesses and communities continue to be heavily affected by the challenging economic conditions post-COVID-19 lockdowns. The ATO offers support during difficult times such as unexpected events, like natural disasters and difficult personal circumstances like mental health challenges. 

Contact the ATO if you need help and assistance in managing your clients’ and your own tax and superannuation obligations. If your clients are struggling to manage or pay their tax due to unexpected circumstances, the ATO has options to help them, including: 

If your client has a debt you can use Online services for agents to view or set up a payment plan for them. Alternatively, you can direct them to the ATO’s self-service option through Help with paying. If your client owes more than $100,000 encourage them call the ATO to see what their options are and avoid the consequences of simply not paying. 

Early engagement for advice – Complex advice request 

Complex tax technical interpretation is available if you cannot resolve your query online or by phone. After lodging a complex advice request, the ATO will call you to discuss your request and timeframes, and keep you informed of the progress as some issues may take longer to be resolved. 

Before requesting complex advice, here are some other ways you can find information quickly

If you are a: 

More information can be found here. 

Changes to myGovID which may impact some users 

There was a change to myGovID on Tuesday 16 November 2021 during the ATO’s regular Tuesday night maintenance window. These changes may impact some myGovID holders who enrolled or upgraded the strength of their credential between 29 October and 3 November 2021. 

Impacted new myGovID users will revert to basic strength and will need to revalidate their source documentation to access Online Services for Agents. Impacted existing users who updated their myGovID credential to a higher strength during that period will revert to the original strength level they held prior to 10:00am on 29 October 2021. These holders will need to revalidate their source documents to return to their pre-outage strength level. 

Any authorisations set up in RAM will not be impacted. 

Emails have been sent to all impacted myGovID holders to prepare them for this event. The ATO has updated their troubleshooting, dashboard sites and call centre scripting to be ready for queries that may still come from credential holders from Wednesday 17 November 2021. 

The ATO has also updated FAQ documents to support non-tax users of the credential who communicate online to relying agencies such as Service Australia. 

Help us keep things fair 

You and your clients can report suspected illegal activity or behaviour of concern to the ATO’s Tax Integrity Centre. If someone is wrongfully gaining a competitive advantage, the ATO wants to hear about it. It only takes a few minutes and you can remain anonymous.

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