ATO moves tax file number applications online

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced it will build a new identity proofing and credential security platform to replace its existing AUSkey security system.

 AUSkey will be completely reinvented? (word choice – ‘superseded’/ ‘reconfigured’/’revamped’ maybe?) by the AUSid system, which will also align with the Federal Government’s national identity system, Govpass, which it states will providing more accessibility and convenience to the Australian public.

 Under the revamped system, users will be required to scan and verify documents through a verification service, whilst also capturing and verifying identity through a facial recognition service on the user’s device. 

 Tax file numbers (TFNs) will also be processed through the online system instead of the current system, which takes on average 40 business days to complete. 

 Digital Transformation Agency chief Gavin Slater said the new system will reduce processing times will “to a matter of minutes”.

“Right now, you apply online and get it in the mail. We’ve built a prototype where you can set up a digital identity in five minutes, and apply and get your TFN in under 90 seconds,” he said.

At a senate estimates hearing earlier this month, the platform was revealed to be in its final stages. The ATO plans to take the platform live within the coming months. 

 “We will go live with this first service transaction this year,” Slater said. 

 The ATO has recently published a a request for a vendor to aid in the delivery of the AUSid system. A character recognition element will form core part of the system. 

 “The OCR technology will assist in streamlining the process of proving a client’s identity using AUSid,”  tender documents revealed. 

 “Whilst assisting in the process of proving your identity, functionality would also assist in detecting fraudulent or altered identity documents.”