The Corporate Tax Association (CTA) is an advocacy body representing major companies in Australia on corporate tax issues. Late last year, on behalf of its members, the CTA forwarded to the ATO a list of questions that its members had asked in relation to the rollout of myGovID.
As Tax & Super Australia’s members will in all likelihood be also grappling with issues that myGovID has thrown in tax practitioners’ paths, the answers that the ATO has so far provided may be instructional.
Below are the questions asked, with the ATO’s responses in italics.
The creation of a myGovID account is linked to an email address. Why does it have to be an email address (rather than a unique username)? What happens when that email address is no longer valid, can it be changed?
An email address is required when setting up myGovID as it is unique to the individual. Currently, you must use the same email that you used to associate the identity with the documents used to set up your myGovID, however in future you will be able to change or update the email address if required. Until this is available it is important to note that if you have set up your myGovID with an email address you can no longer access, you can still continue to use myGovID as an identifier as long as you do not delete the app.
When logging onto the Business Portal with myGovID, is it currently operational and does it look like how it is now when logging on using an AUSkey?
The business portal can currently be accessed with either myGovID and AUSkey, noting that AUSkey will no longer be available after the end of March 2020. When using myGovID to log in, you will have an ABN selection screen that will appear if you have more than one ABN linked in Relationship Authorisation Manager. This replaces the need to have a separate AUSkey for each ABN you may have.
How will it work for replacing device AUSKeys used for STP and whether there will be a way to test it before cutover to ensure we can continue to meet our STP obligations?
If you use Standard Business Reporting (SBR)-enabled software you can use RAM to create machine credentials to interact with government online services through your software. A machine credential is installed on a device and enables you to interact directly with government online services through your business software.
If you use desktop or locally hosted software, you will need to create a machine credential in RAM. This performs the same function as an administrator or standard AUSkey in your software. Your digital service provider will let you know when your software has been updated.
If you use cloud-based SBR enabled software, you will not need to create a machine credential. Instead, your digital software provider will install it on their server.
Your digital service provider will advise you when you can make the switch to the new machine credential.
For more information, see the RAM website.
Why aren’t AUSkey administrators able to manage migration without the need to introduce people who have no day-to-day involvement?
To commence the transition to the new solution, the principal authority of the business (which is the eligible associate as listed on the Australian Business Register), will need to set up their myGovID and link the business in RAM. The principal authority is the person who is legally responsible for the business (ie director, public officer etc) and needs to initiate the transition. If the principal authority wants to delegate the ability to manage all authorisations on behalf of their business, they can authorise at least one other person as an authorisation administrator in RAM.
We have been able to access myGovID for corporate trustee entities. However, the system does not currently allow access to the trust entity itself (which has a different ABN/TFN). The ATO name for this is “the trustee for the trust”. This is important for the superannuation industry because super funds are structured as trust arrangements and it is very common for super funds to hold investments via wholly owned Australian unit trusts. Hence myGovID does not yet allow us access to the information that we need. Can the ATO confirm that myGovID access will be extended for the above, and is the ATO able to provide an expected timeframe for this?
Currently, only “individual” associates listed against an Australian Business Number (ABN) on the Australian Business Register (ABR) can link their myGovID using RAM.
A solution for entities “non-individual” associates and entities that use alternate representatives will be available in January to enable ABNs to be manually linked in RAM. Once this entity has been manually linked, you will be able to manage authorisation for this business in RAM. The ATO will be publishing information about this process in January, including step-by-step instructions for what these entities will need to do.
(The ATO informs us that it has recently published some information videos on its ATO TV channel [see what’s available here].) The ATO has provided digital resources and webinars to help tax professionals understand these new platforms.