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Australian Taxation Office’s 2019 technology priorities

New year, new you.

The same rings true for the Aussie taxman. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) said in a media release that technology priorities for 2019 and beyond have been outlined. Additionally, a new approach to working with product and service providers across the full range of ATO information technology activities has been planned.

ATO’s Plans for the New Year

Developing a new e-commerce platform and modernising the Australian Business Registry are two of its key technology priorities for the coming year. Advancements to SuperStream and Single Touch Payroll can be expected.

SuperStream is a government reform to improve the efficiency of the superannuation (super) system. A retirement scheme, the monies are put in by the employer and can be withdrawn upon retirement. Under SuperStream, all super transactions will be sent electronically.

Single Touch Payroll enables employers to report their employee’s tax and super information to ATO using payroll or accounting software.

ATO hopes to deliver continuous improvement in the user experience and ensure the contracts which underpin them are fit for the purpose.

ATO’s Chief Information Officer, Ramez Katf, said, “We have a clear path of work ahead of us, with our first focus on finalising the move of tax agent and intermediary portals to the ATO online services platform.”

“We’ve just wrapped up another extremely successful Tax Time, with high levels of online usage, strong service availability and faster processing times than ever before. Meanwhile our eCommerce platform is now handling six times as many transactions as 12 months ago. This demonstrates that our work to improve system performance and reliability is on the right track as we deliver on our vision for 2024.”

Customer Centric Plans

“Our IT systems are a critical element in our mission to build trust and confidence in the tax and super systems.”

With more people relying on ATO’s digital services as well as an anticipated exponential growth in digital transactions in the years to come, ATO is gearing up.

Katf explained, “Australians expect online services to be available 24/7, as well as being easy-to use and intuitive. We are committed to providing a contemporary, reliable and secure digital experience for all our users – from those who interact with us multiple times a day, to those who only interact with us once a year.”

Delivering expectations while innovating means keeping your heart and ear on the ground while looking to the skies.

ATO has collaborated with IT vendors, tax professionals, the superannuation industry and digital service providers, and listened to feedback from ATO online services users to go beyond expectations.

The taxman hopes to deliver an integrated and flexible future service capability driven by natural systems and digital events. The Single Touch Payroll is an example.

To support the ATO’s priorities, its approach to IT sourcing is changing.

“In line with the Government’s IT procurement policy, we will split our IT contracts into smaller, more specifically targeted bundles.

“This allows us to reach a wider market of specialist providers for each service and ensure we’re engaging the right expertise.

“We expect to gradually approach the market for each bundle over the next three years, with exact timelines to be determined by a number of factors, including business priorities and the expiry of existing contracts,” he said.

More detail will be provided on each bundle as the ATO approaches the market.

“I look forward to seeing the market’s response as we progress,” Mr Katf said.

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