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On Friday 22 November 2013, Tax Counsel Stephanie Caredes attended a meeting of the ATO Website Limited Life Working Group. The ATO has issued key messages following the meeting:

Tax Practitioner Visits

Visits have been conducted with a small number of tax professionals that included both preparers and researchers from large corporate and small to medium practices.  The visits were very useful and provided greater insight into the issues that tax practitioners are currently facing. For example, agents expressed a view that they had difficulty in locating both the ATO Legal database and the Tax Topics A-Z.  As a result, we have provided additional entry points to these items in the top menu bar above the crest.

The visits also confirmed that the three main areas of concern are the lack of a print friendly function, broken links and searching.

Printer Friendly Function

  • We provided a prototype to the Working Group for review and on the basis of their feedback a solution will be built and delivered in December.  
  • This functionality will provide an icon on the content page that will allow users to print either the page they are viewing or the entire document.  
  • After discussions during the visits to Tax Agents, it was agreed that we would remove page breaks in the print friendly version.
  • The Print Friendly functionality is due to be released in late December (currently scheduled for 17 December).

Broken Links

  • We have resolved the root cause of this issue and have dedicated resources to correct any broken links as part of our normal website management.
  • We are running regular reports to identify and resolve broken links.  Significant progress has been made on existing broken links and it is expected that the majority of broken links will be resolved by the end of December.

Search Function

  • We have resolved some issues with the basic search function, these are the quick code and NAT number searches.
  • We are concentrating on implementing further improvements to the search results.  We are working with Google, the suppliers of the search function, to understand how to continue to improve the search functionality for the site.
  • Agents may also like to try using the external Google search engine and limit the site for better results.  This can be done by entering: in your search terms.
  • Ektron representatives are also providing advice on ways to reduce the number of duplicate search results appearing on the search results page.  A solution is expected early in the New Year.

Next Steps

  • The ATO will deploy the Print Friendly functionality in December and confirm that this issue has been resolved.
  • As per the terms of reference, the Limited Life Working Group will be dissolved once a suitable solution to printer friendly issues has been implemented and the ATO has completed resolving broken link issues and improving the search function. 

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