No doubt you have read that the ATO are undertaking an IT upgrade following all of their recent problems. As part of this process that ATO are phasing out the use of AUSkey, the target end date for AUSkey being March 2020. AUSkey is the way through which your computer is identified by the ATO systems.
If you are using Auskey to login to the ATO (or other Government services), then before March 2020 you need to undertake some action. AUSkey is being replaced by “myGovID” (not to be confused with your myGov account) and will provide a single identification access point for dealing with all government departments.
The ATO are “turning off” AUSkey with effect from 31 March 2020 but you can use myGovID now. This means that if you have not cut over to myGovID before 31 March you will not be able to access the ATO portal and lodge returns or access information.
MyGovID is the Australian Government’s digital identity provider which provides secure, simple and flexible access to government online services. To use myGovID you need to create a link with another government database known as Relationship Authorisation Management (RAM).
A key difference between an AUSKey and myGovID is that AUSKeys are issued by the business and usually stay under the control of the business (they are linked to a computer). With MyGovID, the individual is granted access to the businesses online systems, using a credential that they own (via a mobile device). This means that business will need a robust process for granting and revoking access to their online systems like the Tax Agents Portal as staff come and go.
ACTION REQUIRED NOW!
If you currently use an AUSkey then you need to do the following:
- Ensure your business details (including principals directors, public officers etc) with the Australian Business Register (ABR) are fully up-to-date as this links to the RAM. The details on the ABR are not automatically updated when changes are made to ASIC records which means it is crucial that you ensure the details on the ABR are correct and up-to-date;
- Go to the RAM Webpage and create an account. The principal authority per the ABR will need to do this. They can then create administration rights for other people within the organisation. If you (the principal authority) have employees or other individuals that access online services on behalf your business, you will need to authorise them in RAM. Authorisation levels can be customised (see 4 below);
- Download the MyGovID app from the official app stores – App Store and Google Play. The myGovID app is compatible with most smart devices. To set up your myGovID, you will need two of the following Australian identity documents to achieve a “Standard” identity strength (your name must match in all):
- passport (not more than three years expired)
- driver’s licence (including learner permit)
- birth certificate
- Medicare card
- When an individual has got a myGovid, the principal authority (or authorised individual) can then go onto the RAM and link the individual to the business specifying the requisite level of access that person can have.
Once the above has been undertaken, individuals can then access the ATO portal via the existing website, however, they will need to confirm an access code on their mobile device. This will need to be done each time they access the portal. If you do not have your mobile device you will not be able to access the portal.
Individuals will be able to access the portal from outside of the office as they do not need to have access to a computer with a specific AUSkey. This provides flexibility but also means that clear protocols are required in respect of access rights for joining and leaving staff.
So how safe is it? myGovID uses encryption and cryptographic technology as well as the security features in your device, such as fingerprint, face or password. This is designed to protect your identity and help stop other people accessing your information.
If you have any questions or need any assistance in relation to the above, please reach out to your ESV engagement team or visit https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Gen/myGovID/