ATO kills off e-tax

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ATO kills off e-tax

Legacy tool goes to software heaven.

The Australian Tax Office has officially put its legacy online lodgment tool e-tax out to pasture after 17 years in operation.

The tax authority first announced its plan to retire the software in favour of its new myTax platform mid-last year.

Today it revealed myTax had replaced e-tax for the 2016 tax time, marking the end of the agency's first experiment with online tax return lodgments.

E-tax had a 15-year reign as the only option for self-lodging individuals to submit tax returns online until myTax turned up in 2014.

At launch, myTax could only be used by individuals with straightforward tax affairs; others were required to continue using e-tax.

Over the last 12 months the ATO has expanded myTax for use by those with superannuation pensions, lump sum payments, managed investment funds and foreign pensions, as well as additional tax offsets and other associated deductions.

“In 2016, myTax has been expanded to do everything e-tax could do and more and will be available on 1 July 2016,” assistant commissioner Graham Whyte said in a statement.

“For example, not only will Australians with rental properties be able to use myTax this year, but they will also be able to take advantage of the fully integrated tools and calculators. One of these new tools allows property investors to record depreciation and capital gains.”

The ATO claims 1.75 million lodgments were made on myTax in 2015, and it expects 3 million will be pass through the platform this year.

“We understand sometimes it can be hard to change habits, especially for those who have been using e-tax since its launch in 1999. What we would say to those who are a bit unsure about myTax is to give it a go: you’ll probably have your tax return lodged in a fraction of the time," Whyte said.

MyTax prefills a person's return with information provided by their bank, employer, and government agencies, as well as from their previous tax return. It tailors questions to the user's personal information.

Those signing up to use myTax are required to simultaneously create an account with the government's single sign-on portal for access to government services, myGov.

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