ATO switches on new business portal

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ATO switches on new business portal

Following 10-week public beta earlier this year.

The Australian Taxation Office has switched on its new 'online services for business' portal, as it looks to decommission its legacy business portal of more than 17 years.

The new portal became the default way for businesses to interact with the national revenue agency earlier this month following a 10-week public beta that began in January.

It replaces the ATO's business portal, which was introduced back in March 2004 as the primary online channel for businesses to access tax services.

Deputy commissioner Deborah Jenkins said that while the existing portal had served the agency well over the last 17 years, it was time for a “much more contemporary service”.

She said the portal has been developed and tested in consultation with businesses, with feedback incorporated along the way.

“In the spirit of designing with the end user in mind, many businesses have been involved in the development of the service from the very beginning,” Jenkins said.

“We’ve made many tweaks and improvements to the service as a result and continue to work through how we can further improve the experience for all businesses as they transition to our online platform.”

The new portal offers a range of additional services, including the ability for users who manage more than one business by toggling between their separate accounts.

“The new time-saving features include the ‘switch ABN’ function that allows clients to easily move between the businesses they manage without having to log out and back in again,” Jenkins said.

Like the legacy business portal, as well as other online services' portals, users will continue to use the government’s myGovID digital identity credential to access the new portal.

Despite a “great increase in participation from small business owners making the switch to the new service”, the ATO is planning to maintain the existing portal “over the coming months to help users adjust”.

The ATO has not yet provided a date for when the existing portal will be decommissioned, though a decision is expected later this year.

The business portal is the second ATO portal to be replaced in less than 18 months, with online services for agents replacing the agency’s old tax and BAS agent portals.

Online services for agents replaced the agency’s old tax and BAS agent portals, which like the business portal were also been in place for 17 years.

Earlier this week, the ATO revealed plans for a single digital mailbox for registered companies to receive all government correspondences as part of the modernising business registers program.

The mailbox – which will also be accessible using myGovID – will allow the 2.83 million registered businesses to “easily access and action mail” and view other notifications.

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