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ATO digital services and systems downtime

Posted by Northadvisory on December 13, 2016

UPDATE: As of 14th December 2016, it appears that the ATO website is back up and running along with the Tax Agent Portal and BAS Agent Portal. The rest of the ATO systems including call centre systems will be bought back online shortly over the next few days. Although the ATO website and Tax/BAS Agent Portal is back online, these systems have not yet been bought back to be fully functional however the ATO is aware of this issue and is working around the clock to rectify these problems.

Since approximately 9.30am AEDT Monday, 12th December 2016, the entire Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website including the tax agent portal has shutdown due to a “world first” hardware issue. Many internal processing systems for ATO staff were also affected by these hardware issues leading to many ATO internal systems being taken offline.

The media statement released today from the acting Chief Information Officer Steve Hamilton explains that; ‘these outages relate to a new hardware storage solution that was upgraded in November 2015. Our primary back-up systems, that should have kicked in immediately, were also affected. We understand this is the first time this problem has been encountered anywhere in the world and we are working with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to determine the underlying cause. While these investigations are ongoing, we have had to implement alternative recovery procedures that are taking longer to complete.’

The ATO have not announced a definite time frame on when the general public including tax practitioners can expect the ATO online services to resume operating.

Please note that during this time whilst the ATO are working to resolve their hardware and system issues, we are unable to access our clients accounts with the ATO through the tax agent portal, nor are we able to liaise on client specific matters with the ATO through the tax agent phone services hotline.

For the latest updates on the status of the ATO’s online services, please visit the ATO twitter page at https://twitter.com/ato_gov_au