Improving digital services for tax professionals


We consulted extensively with the tax profession and digital service providers (DSPs) to deliver:
‐ a new online platform that replaced the Tax and BAS Agent Portals.
‐ an equivalent set of services via application programming interfaces (APIs) for
DSPs to use in software.

Both are essential to agents’ practices.

view website

  • MORE
  • Agents transact with us on behalf of the majority of Australia’s taxpayer community. Their influence over taxpayer behaviour is critical to our ability to collect over $500 billion in revenue every year. Agents need access to a comprehensive suite of contemporary digital services to effectively manage their clients’ tax and superannuation. The challenge was to improve agent and ATO’s productivity by: ‐ establishing secure and reliable channels online and via software ‐ enabling agent self-service by providing additional services ‐ improving the user experience to meet current and future needs ‐ addressing irritants from the existing legacy platforms.

  • Online services for agents (OSfA) is considered by other international revenue agencies to be the most advanced platform for tax professionals. It offers: ‐ a streamlined experience based on user-centred design ‐ a holistic view of clients with more data and real-time transactions ‐ a secure and stable platform. ATO APIs are available via the DSP Operational Framework ( which is a scalable set of requirements developed to strengthen the security of the digital tax and superannuation ecosystem. It empowers DSPs while recognising the risks posed by API-based wholesale services. The framework increases agent confidence when using practice management software.

  • Social impact: Better support for agents with streamlined and enhanced digital services that facilitates a streamlined experience of Australia’s tax and superannuation systems. This in turn contributes to the economic and social wellbeing of all Australians. Commercial impact: DSPs are able to leverage secure ATO APIs for free via the DSP Operational Framework, to offer wholesale services via commercial practice management software. Environmental impact: Improvements to the digital tax ecosystem help to create an environment where tax just happens and paper interactions are by exception only. Decreased paper interactions contribute to a more sustainable future and a smaller carbon footprint.

  • The ATO’s vision is to be a leading tax and superannuation administration known for our contemporary service, expertise and integrity – delivering this project has moved us closer to that vision. Although it is focused on the tax professional community, the project impacts the broader taxpayer community as their tax professionals are better equipped to fulfil clients’ tax and super obligations, and DSPs are able to provide a broader range of services. Agent feedback Before “The ATO needs to focus on getting the data I need and the foundational services for my software” “We need a robust and stable digital platform which is available whenever I need it (e.g. Fix the portals)” After “Thank you. I have had the best experience using this service since I began as a BAS agent.” “Every single function that I've used has been much better than the old portal system.” Hear directly from agents via: Implementation of OSfA and advent of software services in the evolving digital economy are promising signs of mutually beneficial outcomes for the community and the ATO. We acknowledge the growing network of partnerships in this ecosystem and will continue to work with our partners to optimise the digital experience.