One of the greatest initiatives rolled out by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) would be the creation of the Tax Agent Portal.
This initiative is offered to all businesses in the form of the Business Portal. As internet access and speeds become more reliable, the importance of the Business Portal also increases to help your farming business save on time and costs.
What is the Business Portal?
The Business Portal is a free, secure website that allows business owners and their designated employees to access and process real-time business information with the ATO.
The Business Portal can be used for functions such as:
- An overview of account balances and outstanding or upcoming lodgement deadlines
- Preparing, lodging, and revising Business Activity Statements (BAS)
- Viewing your Single Touch Payroll reports
- Requesting refunds or credit transfers between accounts
- Updating business registration details
- Accessing the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH)
- Registering for goods and services tax (GST) and pay as you go (PAYG) withholding
- Lodging a range of online forms
- Communicating with the ATO through a secure mailbox
What are the benefits?
The Business Portal is a secure website that relies on your digital ID using the MyGovID app to log on. Each business owner and their designated employees will have their own ID on their own smart device such as a smartphone, which makes identity theft more difficult. A business owner can immediately amend or remove access for employees if needed.
As a 24-hour online service, the Business Portal also allows you to attend to your tax matters at a time and location that suits you. You no longer have to wait on the phone during business hours to talk to your tax agent or someone at the ATO, nor do you have to rely on someone else to lodge a form while you are away. Instead, you can log on to the portal at any time, from anywhere to complete your task.
It also acts as a time and cost saver. Rather than approaching your tax agent to perform administrative functions such as sending a printout of the integrated client account to your bank, this can now be easily done yourself. You can also lodge your forms and make payments online rather than making a trip to the post office. Updating business registrations to include an email address means that you can set up notifications to ensure that you never miss lodgement deadlines or incur unnecessary interest and penalties.
HOW CAN RSM HELP?
Running a farming business is a full-time job, the Business Portal acts as a time saver and cuts down the red tape so that you can spend more time on the land rather than in the office. Contact your local RSM adviser if you need assistance with accessing the Business Portal.