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14 Sep 12 On Portal woes

MEMBER 190 writes:

"Just a short note to advise that as the ATO have done computer updates over [last] weekend it is now taking a great longer to access the ATO Portal.

Even when one tries to transfer between tax and integrated accounts the whole system is many times slower. What a great system we have when the ATO do upgrades and make life slower for us all. Perhaps they could start to investigate what has gone wrong and advise TAXVINE so that you could keep us updated.

We will now take much longer to process our work and get even further behind and again get penalised by the ATO."

MEMBER 191 writes:

"All those of us old enough remember the commencement of the NEW TAX SYSTEM and our first BAS.

These same people also remember the profession threatening to strike if the ATO did not improve its information system so as to help us do our job.

Eventually some smart person in the ATO IT section created the PORTAL, and gosh it is very useful It has improved work efficiency markedly. Tax Agents rely on it.

So now why is it so hard to log into it? Up until recently it was working rather well. Obviously around deadlines it is hard to get into, but now I have all levels of staff with piles of work on their floor that cannot be done because either you cannot log into the Portal, or it crashes 80% through the work or it hangs, or it takes the length of time for an iceberg to melt to actually get anywhere.

Once you get in, if you get in, you click an option and sometimes in the next 15 minutes the next screen comes up.It used to be considerably faster than this. It is not acceptable at all.

During the writing of this email, which has taken 15 minutes so far, I have got through 3 screens in the Portal, and thus am half way through varying an activity statement.

After 35 minutes it is lodged.

It must be improved. It is not at all acceptable.

The ATO wants us Tax Agents to be efficient, lodge on time and funnily enough, to use the Portal to communicate with them…WELL, make it work!!!

Can someone from The Tax Institute give these people a visit and explain the facts of life to them. It was working, so don’t stuff with it!"

TAX COUNSEL STEPHANIE CAREDES COMMENTS: "The ATO issued an email broadcast on Wednesday 12 September 2012 advising of the issues affecting the Tax Agent, BAS Agent and Business Portals as a result of an upgrade to the Portals which occurred over the weekend of 8 and 9 September. We have included information about the Portal issues in this issue of TAXVINE. We are keen to assist members by letting the ATO know if there are continuing problems with the Portal. Members still experiencing difficulties with the Portal such as difficulty logging on to the Portal should contact the ATO on 13 72 86 or contact us at TaxPolicy and we will forward your concerns on to the ATO."