ATO to create single digital mailbox for businesses

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ATO to create single digital mailbox for businesses

As part of $480m business registers overhaul.

The Australian Taxation Office is planning to create a single digital mailbox for registered companies to receive all government correspondence as part of the $480 million business registers overhaul.

The national revenue agency has issued a tender calling on service providers to deliver the “inbox and notification service”, including installation and configuration of the mail utility software.

The solution – which the ATO said could be used more widely in the future – will provide a “secure digital destination for government agencies to deliver correspondence to a business entity”.

It forms part of the modernising business registers program, which began in 2017 to replace the country’s 32 ageing business registers with a new whole-of-government registry platform.

The government set aside $420 million in last year’s budget to progress the platform, as well as $60 million the year before.

The ATO said a “single business mailbox” will be created for each “registered business entity”, allowing “individuals to easily access and action mail” using the myGovID digital identity credential.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were more than 2.83 million registered companies in Australia, as at December 2020.

A separate “notifications centre” will allow users to view notifications like they would through myGov.

The ATO expects “all government correspondence for an entity” will be sent through the mailbox, with “individuals able to controls how they are notified for events/actions”.

“The service will manage an inbox user’s preferences, roles, permissions and their relationships with a business and their transactions to enable the community of business users to be informed and up to date with their obligations and entitlements,” the ATO said.

Tender documents show the solution will need to support 5.5 million mailboxes initially and up to 11 million users, with annual growth expected at a rate of 10 percent, and integrate with the ATO's applications and services via APIs.

The solution will be expected to be “capable of being hosted on the ATO’s managed infrastructure and will be rated up to protected due to the size and type of documents stored”.

Submissions will close on May 27, with a contract for up to five years expected by September 6. Implementation is expected to be complete by April 2022.

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