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MyGov Accounts are NOT Compulsory | Here’s What You May Not Know…

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As you may know, in February this year legislation came into effect that requires all employers to start reporting their payroll information through Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2019. Employers have until 30 September 2019 to start reporting without needing to apply for additional time.

If you haven’t read the article and would like to get up to speed, click here.

Alternatively, here’s a quick summary:

The introduction of STP reporting means that as an employee, when you are paid by your employer your tax and super information can be accessed by the ATO. 

If you already have an account with myGov, you can now view your year-to-date tax and super information through the myGov website.

But there’s a catch…..

WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW

Some employers are starting to push employees to create myGov accounts as part of the STP reporting process.

Despite what some employers say or think, creating a myGov account is NOT COMPULSORY for employees so don’t feel forced to do so, even as part of the STP changes (at this stage anyway).

Employees can access their income statement without a myGov account. They can contact their registered agent or they can call the ATO after 31 July 2019 (this is the finalisation due date for 2019, where income statements will become ‘tax ready’) to access their income statement. If they choose to use a myGov account linked to the ATO, they will be able to access their information as soon as it is available.

Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting is currently available through payroll, accounting and business management software. Most software providers are offering STP-enabled products. STP reports cannot be made through the ATO business portal.

 

There are a number of different ways STP reports can be lodged:

If you have payroll software:

  • Through existing payroll or accounting solution

If you don’t have payroll software:

  • Choose an STP-enabled payroll software
  • We can report on your behalf

 

Click here if you’d like to get in touch to book an appointment or get some advice.

 

CREATING A MYGOV ACCOUNT

If you start setting up a myGov account, you will be asked to link relevant services to your account. This may include Centrelink, Medicare, ATO, etc.

However, by linking the “ATO” to your myGov account during set up, you’re actually giving them permission for them to send all tax correspondence to your personal myGov account. As the correspondence is being sent to you, and not your accountant (as normal), you will be expected to action and handle it yourself. 

This becomes a problem if you don’t regularly check your myGov account and therefore easily miss important info or alerts. This is why it can be better to keep it unchecked, and leave all the tax correspondence with us to action on your behalf.

If the ATO is selected, the below clause will be added to your Terms and Conditions agreement:

“I agree my myGov inbox will be my address for the ATO to send correspondence. This includes items that may have previously gone to my tax or BAS agent, if I have one. My agent will be able to access my correspondence electronically.”

 

 

Warning! Warning! Your inner alert bells should be ringing!

Let us explain what this actually means in more simple terms:

“By agreeing to this clause, you agree that all Tax-related correspondence will now be sent directly to your myGov account, bypassing the safekeeping of your accountant. It will be 100% your responsibility to check your ATO correspondence regularly. Failure to do so may result in penalties and fines.

Sure, your accountant may be able to access your correspondence electronically, but good luck to them. They will not receive notifications when current clients receive correspondence. You, the client, will need to notify your accountant yourself.”

 

In Summary:

Linking the ATO to your myGov account could result in the following consequences:

  • It will be entirely up to you to keep up to date with ATO correspondence
  • You will become solely responsible for notifying us (your accountant) if you have any ATO concerns
  • You must check your myGov account regularly for any ATO communication
  • If you forget to check your account and miss an overdue debt penalty, they will hold you 100% accountable – and in some cases, even threaten legal action.

We’ve already seen a few cases of some clients experiencing this problem; receiving accelerated ATO fines and pending legal action due to not checking their myGov account properly.

 

 

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

1. If you don’t have a myGov account

Great! You don’t need one (at this stage, anyway).

 

2. If you do already have a myGov account or are planning to set one up:

DO NOT LINK THE “ATO” AS A SERVICE

 

3. If you have a myGov account and still want to link the ATO as a Service

  • You must check your account “Inbox” very regularly to action any urgent correspondence
  • It may also be worth changing your myGov account settings so that any “Inbox Notifications” are sent to your mobile as a text – not to your email. 
  • The Downside: We may not be able to advise or fix ATO related concerns, unpaid fines or penalties that come through to your myGov account.

 

 

At Knox Taxation and Business Advisory we look after our clients.

We make sure that everything related to your Tax compliance is taken care of and simple.  We want to make Tax as stress-free as possible – without our clients having to worry about concerns like this.

The solution is simple – Leave the ATO to us.

This way, we can continue to receive, control and take care of your ATO correspondence; notifying you immediately for anything urgent.

If you’re interested in learning more about us and the services we offer, click the links below:

If you have any queries or questions feel free to give us a call on (03) 9762 7344 to discuss this further.

Other than that, we wish you all a great weekend!

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