ATO ready for ‘digital by default’ initiative

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced its intention to adopt a broader digital approach to its services by rolling out its ‘digital by default' initiative for taxpayers.

The initiative, which is currently open for community consultation, will require most taxpayers to use ATO digital services to send and receive payments, except where they do not have the ability to do so.

"More and more people are carrying out their day-to-day business online and in the last couple of years a focus of ours has been to make sure our digital services meet the community's needs," said ATO Deputy Commissioner, Michelle Crosby. "The ‘digital by default' initiative is an extension of this commitment."

Crosby added that the initiative would require people still using paper products to switch to ATO digital services, with the ATO providing time and support for those requiring help to make the transition between paper to digital.

A start date for this initiative will not be finalised until community consultation has taken place, which closes on 15 January 2016.

"We have released a consultation paper and are seeking feedback from all sections of the community. We want to make sure we have a fully-rounded understanding of the support needed to transition to digital services, the approach we take for those who cannot use digital services, and any concerns people might have," Crosby said.

The ‘digital by default' initiative is one of three initiatives announced in the 2015-16 Budget as part of the ‘Reducing ret tape measure — reforms of the Australian Taxation Office'.

Feedback can be provided at the ATO's Let's Talk webpage.

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