Since early December 2016, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) computer systems and databases have met significant difficulties through crashes. From time to time, the Tax Agent's Portal, SBR system, Australian Business Register, and other systems have been crashing.
Tax Agents have been told that no information was lost or at risk to nefarious parties. However it has made our job difficult in the time being.
Nowadays through technology implemented by the ATO we rely heavily on their systems to find information, lodge returns, check balances, and even request extended lodgement times and payment plans.
The following was sent out by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand yesterday:-
"This morning, 6 February 2017, the ATO issued a series of alerts to Tax professionals and Software developers containing an update on the ATO’s Systems restoration work.
The ATO has reported that most of their systems are back up and running, with core services including the Tax Agent, Business and BAS Agent Portals, ATO Online services, and Standard Business Reporting (SBR) services now available.
Further testing is continuing with SBR and the practitioner lodgment service, and a further update will follow. Superannuation online services are being ramped up over the course of this morning.
The Australian Business Register (ABR) is in its final stages of restoration and should be available shortly. The remainder of ATO services should also become available throughout the day.
Users may experience some slowness as further work is undertaken to improve the overall performance of the ATO systems.
On Friday, Karen Liew of the CA ANZ Tax team participated in a teleconference with the ATO regarding the current outage, and CA ANZ CEO Lee White has also written to the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services to express our concern and offer assistance. CA ANZ has previously raised these concerns with senior ATO officials, as we appreciate that members are feeling anxious at the lack of uncertainty around the reliability of core ATO systems.
CA ANZ will continue to represent members’ interests with the ATO and the Government on this critical service issue. See the update below regarding the new hardware system.
The ATO alerts are now available on the ATO website."