Small-business owners have written to My Business with concerns that they will be unable to enrol for JobKeeper from 20 April due to technical difficulties.
Namely, JobKeeper enrolments will take place through the ATO’s business portal, which requires individuals to log in using myGovID, which in turn requires the use of a “compatible smart device”.
However, small businesses are reporting that the devices they own appear to not be smart enough.
Business owner Brian Herbert wrote to My Business after he was told his fourth-generation iPad would not cut it for myGovID.
“I do not have an iPhone but have a 4th generation iPad which works fine for any applications I need — except for myGovID,” Mr Herbert said.
“For some time, I have been successfully using the old myGov on my desktop for the lodgement of BAS etc., but now, of course, this has been disabled. I contacted myGovID Support and their only suggestion was to return to paper. But this does not solve the problem of dealing with JobKeeper,” he said.
The ATO Community forum is filled with similar grievances from business owners who, just like Mr Herbert, don’t own a smart device capable of handling myGovID.
“The ATO has introduced this new scheme at the worst possible time and apparently even relatively new devices don’t work as they should for this application,” Mr Herbert said.
“It would appear that this application was rushed out before it was properly tested just to meet the 27 March deadline.”
‘Consider purchasing a new device’
A spokesperson for the Tax Office confirmed for My Business that eligible businesses using the business portal will be required to log in using the myGovID app in order to enrol for JobKeeper.
To do so, they will need a smartphone or tablet with installed iOS 10 or later for Apple devices and Android 7.0 (Nougat) or later for Android devices.
“It is estimated over 95–98 per cent of business users have a compatible device,” the ATO said.
However, for those that don’t, the ATO has suggested they consider purchasing a new device.
“The cost of purchasing a new device starts at approximately $90 and businesses may be eligible for a tax deduction.”
Mr Herbert explained, however, that while the cost of a new smart device is not the only reason he doesn't have one, he believes it is certainly a factor for many owners given the unprecedented crisis.
"You see, I have an old simple mobile phone which allows me to stay connected just the way I like," he told My Business.
"I have a desktop computer which, up until now, allows me to handle all my business needs.
"I am nearly 75 and I don't need the hassle of learning to use new technology if it does not serve me."
The ATO spokesperson told My Business that eligible employers are also able to ask their registered tax professional to act on their behalf, provided that they have a compatible device.
Another option is to undertake all relevant requirements over the phone by calling the ATO.
“Employers who are not able to enrol and participate digitally, or do not wish for their registered tax professional to act on their behalf, will be able to undertake all relevant requirements over the phone by calling the ATO,” the ATO’s spokesperson said.
According to the ATO, over 934,000 users have successfully set up their myGovID, with over 1.1 million authorisations established across 737,000 ABNs.
The ATO has run a significant campaign since January to encourage AUSkey users to make the transition to myGovID.