ATO prepares new features for MyGov

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ATO prepares new features for MyGov

Inbox, 2FA updates on the agenda.

Users of the MyGov service portal should see a raft of new features in the not-too-distant future as federal agencies work to iron out some of the many pain points that frustrate Australians.

The MyGov team - split between the Department of Human Services and the Digital Transformation Agency - has been on a mission to make the widely-used but complained-about platform more user friendly, by replacing headaches like long alphanumeric user names and making it easier to re-access accounts following a password lockout.

Now it is pairing with one of MyGov’s biggest client agencies, the tax office, to fix ATO-specific user qualms.

In an answer to follow-up questions from October’s senate estimates, the ATO said it was working to bring new capabilities like read receipts on MyGov messages, and improved two-factor authentication options for taxpayers with higher security needs, within 12 to 18 months.

It is hoping to combat users forgetting to check their MyGov inbox for long periods by enabling message bouncebacks and read receipts, so the ATO knows how many users are actually reading their correspondence.

The agency said this will “provide the ATO with additional insight into clients' digital behaviour and will allow a more tailored client engagement approach”.

Inboxes are also due to be updated with new urgency flags like “act now” or “for your action” to alert customers to priority messages that may otherwise get lost amongst less important notifications.

MyGov’s two-factor authentication system - which requires users to enter a four-digit pin sent to their nominated mobile phone - looks like it will open up to email-based authentication as well.

The ATO said it wants to be able to send more complex codes via email, while also offering a second option to customers overseas, those living outside of cellular coverage in country Australia, or who don’t have access to a mobile.

It is also continuing work on “tell us once” methods that will allow users to update their details across all MyGov-linked services at the same time.

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