Tax agents hit by ATO service disruptions as EOFY looms

ato services for businesses

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) says it is working hard to restore full access to its online services for tax agents (OSFA), following disruptions that first became evident on Monday. 

During what is perhaps their busiest time of the year, some tax and BAS agents have been unable to access all of the ATO’s online services. 

Some agents also said they received messages that they were being placed in a queue while trying to access the online platform on Monday, although they were still able to lodge returns’ for clients. 

On Monday evening, a notice on this status page indicated the ATO was investigating the reports, and updates throughout the morning on Tuesday suggested only some parts of the platform were fully operational. 

Another update posted at 11.42am on Tuesday morning said the ATO was again investigating “performance and access issues” with OSFA. At the time of writing, the OSFA dashboard says all services are operational. 

A spokesperson for the ATO told SmartCompany the tax office is investigating the situation “as a matter of priority” and apologised for the inconvenience. 

The ATO is in the process of moving business owners to its new online services for business platform, away from the soon-to-be-retired business portal. However, the spokesperson said the current issues affecting tax and BAS agents are not related to this changeover. 

The spokesperson also confirmed the ATO’s lodgement service for practitioners has not been affected. 

In response to questions about agents being placed in a queue to access the online services platform, the ATO has activated its visitor prioritisation system, which the spokesperson says helps “manage user traffic and ensure system performance for ATO online users”. 

The visitor prioritisation system was first introduced in April 2020 to help manage the high traffic volumes to the ATO’s services from business owners and individuals wanting to access JobKeeper payments and the superannuation early release program. 

The ATO says it will update the public as soon as these access issues have been fully resolved.

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