A6.1 The below are a list of suggestions made by stakeholders to the IGT to improve the ATO Portals:

  • The ATO should provide prefilled information for entities other than individual taxpayers, such as companies, superannuation funds and trusts.
  • The ATO Portals should improve its navigational efficiency as common Portal features, such as downloading pre-filled information can require navigating across a number of pages, most of which, in their view, were unnecessary.
  • The ATO Portals should provide notification when clients have changed tax practitioners. This would assist tax practitioners in managing their client lists (such as removing them from the tax agent’s newsletter list, archiving of taxpayer records, managing their 85 per cent requirement, etc.).
  • The ATO Portals should provide automatic and early warning notices to tax practitioners as soon as compliance obligations have not been met. Tax practitioners indicated that many clients do not receive any notice until there are multiple instances of non-compliance.
  • The ATO Portals should provide regular weekly status updates on lodgments and amendment requests. Tax practitioners indicated that the current process for checking the status of lodgment and amendment requests is to call the ATO, which wastes both tax practitioner and ATO resources.
  • The extended due date that applies to electronic lodgments should be shown on the BAS Agent Portal, rather than the earlier paper lodgment due date. They noted that because the earlier paper lodgment date is set in the system, the lodgment is considered overdue when the first date elapses, which also results in the ATO sending overdue reminder letters to clients, notwithstanding that such lodgments were made on time.
  • If there is a late lodgment, the ATO Portals should allow the tax practitioner to report the reason, in particular one that indicates that access to the electronic lodgment service was not available, or the taxpayer was unavailable (for example, in hospital or overseas).
  • The ATO Portals should allow tax practitioners to download assessment notices (including for companies and superannuation funds).
  • The ATO Portals’ secure messaging facility should be used to request a name change. The current practice was seen as time consuming as it requires tax practitioners to contact the ATO by telephone and then provide the required evidence to prove the identity of the taxpayer. The ATO then contacts the tax practitioner to confirm that this change in the client’s name has been implemented.
  • The ATO Portals should provide more information on FBT on taxpayers as it currently has very limited FBT information.
  • The ATO Portals should provide access to electronic payment slips for all accounts (including Superannuation Guarantee Charge, Higher Education Loan Program and Student Financial Supplement Scheme). Payment slip pdfs should be easily available on the ATO Portals. At present, users are required to navigate through different pages before they can download the payment slips.
  • Reduce duplicate work when completing forms on the ATO Portals. For instance, tax agents are required to upload a paper form to the ATO Portals which contains questions that have already been answered electronically.
  • Reduce instances where the ATO Portals refer tax practitioners to forms on the ATO website that did not exist, such as the lodgment deferral form.
  • The ATO Portals should improve reporting of statuses on a live basis. The ATO Portals was batch updated and therefore did not provide information in real time.
  • The ATO Portals should allow users to print a client directory.
  • The ATO Portals should allow users to quickly obtain an outstanding lodgment report.
  • The ATO Portals should allow users to obtain the status of lodgment of the Payment Summary reports.
  • The ATO Portals should provide access to clients’ debts owing to assist tax agents manage their financial affairs.
  • The ATO Portals should allow users to print directly rather than having to enter into a printer friendly format.
  • The ATO Portals should allow users to easily change and review details of authorised contact persons.
  • The ATO Portals should provide a succinct report for tax agents on the details of the authorised contact person.
  • The ATO Portals should be able to show all relevant details about an entity or taxpayer in the one report and allow users to print this information.
  • The ATO Portals should provide as much information and details about the tax practitioner and their client as possible so that any inaccuracies can be quickly identified and addressed.