SMEs have less than one week to switch from the ATO’s business portal to online services


The Australian Taxation Office is appealing to all small and medium businesses to make the switch to its new online services business platform, as the deadline for the transition fast approaches. 

There is now less than one week before the ATO retires its business portal, which has been used by businesses to interact with the tax office for the past 17 years. 

The ATO’s online services for business will officially take its place as the default way for these interactions at the start of next month, after going live at the start of April.

ATO deputy commissioner Andrew Watson told SmartCompany 70% of Australian businesses have already made the switch; however, the ATO is “doing one last push” across a number of sectors to make sure businesses know they must transition to the new platform in the coming days. 

These sectors include building and construction, manufacturing, professional, scientific and technical services, and retail and trade.

Over the past three months, more than 500,000 activity statements have been lodged via the new platform, Watson said, with uptake particularly increasing over the past two weeks.

While the ATO says the uptake has been relatively consistent across the board, the highest usage of the new platform has been among businesses in financial and insurance services, rental, hiring and real estate services. 

“Compared to the business portal, those using online services for business are gaining the benefits of improved navigation and greater functionality and a more contemporary service to manage their tax and super obligations faster and more securely online,” he added. 

Business operators can use the new platform to manage their tax and super obligations, view and print tax returns and income tax histories, and create payment plans with the ATO. 

The platform can also be used to view Single Touch Payroll reports, register for GST and Pay-As-You-Go withholding, and access the small business superannuation clearing house. It also replaces the previous electronic superannuation audit tool, eSAT.

Business operators can access the platform across multiple devices and switch between their different businesses as needed without having to log in multiple times.

Watson says the ATO is also “continually striving to improve the end-to-end digital experience” for businesses using the platform.

“The sooner businesses make the switch, the more time they have to become acquainted with the new service and benefit from the improved features,” he said.

More information about the online services for business platform is available in this explainer article. To access online services for business, visit the ATO website here.


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