Online services for business has become the ATO’s default service for businesses that interact directly with the ATO online, with the existing Business Portal put to rest after 17 years.
“The Business Portal has served us well over the last 17 years, but it’s time to replace it with a much more contemporary service that’s been developed with business so we know they’ll enjoy using it,” said ATO deputy commissioner Deborah Jenkins.
The new “contemporary” and easier-to-use service can be accessed on phones or tablets, and is sighted to make it easier for businesses to interact with the ATO online, while also providing a secure channel to manage their tax and super obligations.
“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, and we are grateful for the valuable feedback we’ve received,” Ms 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.”
In addition to providing the services available in the Business Portal, Online services for business allows users to access new services, including:
- view and print tax returns and income tax history
- create payment plans
- switch between your businesses with a single log-in
- customise your homepage
- access new secure mail subjects
“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. Businesses have also told us they love being able to organise a payment plan with us online using the service rather than calling us, which saves them precious time,” Ms Jenkins said.
Earlier this month, the ATO issued a call for businesses to switch to the new system, with Ms Jenkins now revealing that “a great increase” in participation from small business owners has since been witnessed, especially from the professional, scientific and technical services and construction sectors.
“We’d like to see more of manufacturing, retail trade, healthcare and social assistance businesses also start using the service,” she said.
Businesses can start using Online services for business by logging in with their myGovID as they did for the Business Portal. Those new to the online services will need to set up a myGovID and be linked to their organisation through Relationship Authorisation Manager.
“We understand this year has, and continues to be, challenging for many clients. We know businesses have a lot on their plate, so we will maintain the electronic superannuation tool (eSAT) and Business Portal for a transition period over the coming months to help users adjust to the new service,” Ms Jenkins said.
“We are here to support businesses through this transition, and while the new service will ensure an improved experience across a range of services, it is important to note that it is not a replacement for the professional advisory services provided by tax professionals.”