MyGov & the ATO: Keep your accountant in the loop
Linking your MyGov and ATO accounts might be convenient for accessing your tax matters, however doing so cuts your accounting team out of the loop.
MyGov is the portal that enables Australians to access a variety of services such as Medicare, Centrelink, Veterans Affairs and the ATO. Your MyGov account provides an inbox for each service you use so that you will receive notifications securely within each account, rather than through the mail or via your own email inbox.
We have noticed a number of clients have linked their MyGov and ATO accounts, which means that any notices of assessment will be delivered to your ATO Inbox rather than to your accountant.
The types of ATO mail you may receive in your myGov Inbox include:
- Notices, such as notices of assessment
- Statements of account
- Confirmation and reminder notices
- Activity statements or instalment notices.
While linking your accounts may be convenient for you and the ATO, it does cut your accountant out of the loop and that means we can no longer be proactive because we longer receive paper-based notifications about your tax matters from the ATO.
We do have the ability to see them within the Tax Agent Portal, however there is often a substantial delay between the time it arrives in your inbox versus when we can see it This means your accountant will not be kept abreast of all your tax affairs.
You can opt to receive email alerts or an SMS notification each time you get a new message in your inbox, so you know to check your messages. To change your Inbox notification preference, log into your myGov account, select the 'Settings' icon and go to the 'Inbox Preferences' tab.
Once you have decided to link your MyGov and ATO activities, please ensure that you are proactive in forwarding your ATO notices to Bates Cosgrave so that we can keep up to date. If you don't, we may not be able to respond promptly to your tax matters. You can easily save and print from within the ATO inbox in your MyGov account and share with us via email.
If you have already linked your accounts and want to keep them linked, please let us know so that we can make a note against your tax matters.
Returning to paper-based communication is also an option if you'd prefer your accountant to act promptly. You can ask the ATO to send us any notices the old-fashioned way - via snail mail - by:
- Calling the ATO on 13 28 61 and ask them to remove the link between your accounts so that your notices are sent directly to your accountant.
- Logging into in to your MyGov account and delinking your ATO account. Before you do, ensure that your accountant is listed as the main address for correspondence so that we receive all future notices.
The ATO has recognised that there are a number of challenges for taxpayers and their accountants as a result of the links between the MyGov Portal and the ATO.
Due to overwhelming feedback from accountants that being cut out of the loop causes major headaches for their clients, the ATO has been seeking input from accountant practices on how to fix the problem via a new business service. Our team met with ATO software developers recently to provide substantial feedback on some of the development proposals, which have the potential to amplify the problem if changes to link to other services such as ASIC aren't implemented well.
The business service has some way to go, with a limited launch due in mid-2016. Watch this space for more information as it comes to hand.
For more information about MyGov and the ATO, please contact us
on 02 9957 4033.
This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.