​Taxpayers given tax return extension after myGov glitch

The Australian Taxation Office has extended the tax return deadline by 24 hours after the government's online service portal experienced a 10-minute outage on Monday.

Taxpayers in Australia that missed the October 31 deadline for lodging their return have been given a 24-hour extension, after the federal government's myGov website suffered a 10-minute glitch on Monday.

Department of Human Services general manager Hank Jongen apologised to customers for the inconvenience, confirming that services run by the department, including myGov, were affected by a "short disruption".

As a result of the 10-minute delay, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has extended the deadline for lodging a tax return.

"People don't need to worry: Penalties won't apply for anyone who lodges their tax return tomorrow," an ATO spokeswoman said in a statement on Monday night.

The ATO joined the myGov portal in 2014, allowing the completion of tax returns using a myGov account as authentication.

It hasn't been a smooth sailing for myGov, with the launch of the myTax portal suffering a stumble.

At the time, users reported difficulties in linking their myGov login details with their ATO details in the first few days of the 2014-15 financial year.

Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge confirmed in August, however, that the government had made improvements to myGov in recent months to address frustrations users had expressed via public feedback, which included giving users the option to log in with their username or email address and reducing the account lock-out time for incorrect credential entering from 12 hours to two.

During the tax time peak this July, over 660,000 people logged in on a single day; the government also said there were 14.2 million logins in July 2016, compared to 7.5 million in July 2015.

The ATO was the latest addition to the government portal, joining Medicare, Centrelink, Child Support, the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and e-Health.

"myGov is about making it easier and simpler for people to interact with government, to update their information, do their tax or apply for benefits," Tudge said previously.

"There have been early frustrations with the myGov service but we have made considerable improvements recently and there are many more planned."

In the month following the NDIS national rollout on July 1, the scheme claimed to have processed over AU$65 million worth of payment requests. Despite the large number, the government announced an independent review into the MyPlace portal -- which requires users to have a myGov account -- to ensure it was "meeting the agreed expectations" of NDIS participants and providers.

The review was called following disruptions the IT system had faced over recent weeks including the inability to upload provider data to the portal, which resulted in delays to payments being issued by the agency, and multiple concerns being expressed by providers and participants.

The myGov responsibility was handed over to the Digital Transformation Office early last year, with the office tasked with unifying government agencies and services online.

Communications Minister cum Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull initially oversaw the transition which also included working with state and territory governments to identify opportunities for collaboration, including ways to make better use of myGov.

"Interacting with government should be as easy as internet banking or ordering a taxi through an app," Turnbull said at the time.

As of August 23, 2016, more than 10 million people had registered with myGov.

With AAP

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