While we have known that myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) will replace AUSkey as the new secure login service from March, the ATO has kept its lips sealed on the exact date AUSkey will be made redundant.
However, speaking to My Business on Monday, an ATO spokesperson has now issued an exact date.
“We can now advise that AUSkey and Manage ABN connections will close at 11.59pm AEDT Friday, 27 March 2020,” the spokesperson said.
Asked whether extensions to this deadline are at all possible, given many pleading calls from small-business accountants, the ATO was unable to provide an answer at the time of publication.
Last week, the Institute of Public Accountants general manager of technical policy Tony Greco told My Business sister title Accountants Daily that the deadline is hinged on technology.
“The AUSkey certificate has a lifespan and it basically runs out at the end of March. So, it’s almost like it’s got a clock built into it and it is old technology, so things need to move along,” Mr Greco said.
“We’ve always asked why it needs to be done by 31 March, and that’s the response that’s been provided, so I think we are up against the clock.”
Mr Greco pointed out that the ATO is going ahead with its schedule despite the bushfires and a lot of other issues, and believes only time will tell if the Tax Office is able to work through everything over the coming weeks.
“There are some recurring issues and the ATO is working with the professional bodies to address some of those underlying issues, and we’re hoping we get some quick resolutions to push this thing along, and if they are adamant on 31 March, then they have to be on top of these issues that are coming through because they are not insignificant,” Mr Greco said.
“One of the recurrent themes is that under AUSkey, the security was locked in with the device that resided in the workplace, and now via a mobile app, access has now become anywhere an employee feels like.
“If people can’t get their credentials, that’s a big problem, and if they’ve got fears about what staff will do, those are real fears and the ATO needs to acknowledge those concerns and come up with proactive solutions.”