ATO's myTax website struggles with online tax return lodgement

ATO's myTax website struggles with online tax return lodgement

Summary: A number of Australians have reported difficulties with lodging their tax returns through the myGov portal in its first year.


The launch of the myTax portal on the Australian government's myGov website for tax return lodgement has suffered a stumble, with users reporting difficulty in accessing the site in the first few days of the new financial year.

This year, Australians have two options for lodging tax online: either through the traditional e-tax app, or through an online portal known as myTax using their whole-of-government single login myGov details.

As users began attempting to file tax returns this week, a number of them reported difficulty in linking their myGov login details with their Australian Taxation Office details.

"Trying to lodge using e-tax but myGov account can't be matched at this time (error 5077). Can log in fine to myGov website. Hurry up and sort it out please!" one user posted on the ATO's Facebook page.

A number of users reported being presented with a notification stating that the site was "experiencing some technical difficulties".

The ATO responded at the time saying that it was "intermittent errors with the authentication process.

"Due to intermittent errors with the authentication process you may have experienced difficulties verifying your identity. We are working with myGov to investigate the cause of the error," the ATO said on its Facebook page.

"After several unsuccessful attempts to verify your identity your account is locked for 24 hours as a security precaution. We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused."

Late yesterday evening, a spokesperson for the ATO told ZDNet that "less than 1 percent" of users were affected.

"More than 99.9 percent of people are successfully lodging online using e-tax. The ATO is aware that in less than 1 percent of cases people may experience an ongoing technical issue. We are now working to further reduce the instances of this issue. Those experiencing this problem can call the e-tax IT help desk on 1300 1300 17," the ATO spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that since July 1, 15,705 people had lodged their tax return using e-tax, while 12,632 people had lodged their return using myTax.

The move to the myTax service came after many years of complaints from users that the e-tax software platform was initially only available for Windows, and then OS X, but not Linux.

Topics: Government, Government AU, Australia


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • lots of other options

    "...Australians have two options for lodging tax online"?
    Not true.
    The majority of Australians use a tax agent, for a long list of reasons, and there are good online options that don't force you to go one-on-one with the ATO.
  • solution for the error "experiencing some technical difficulties"

    For those who are trying to use myTax:
    "If trying to access myTax and you are receiving the message: “this site is currently experiencing technical difficulties” it could be because of an ad blocking feature of your browser. Disabling browser add-ons such as Ad Blocker Plus or using Firefox in ‘safe’ mode should resolve the issue."
    This solution was copied from the ATO Facebook and it worked for me.
  • MyTax = red tape

    I'm not sure why anyone would want to use the ATO's online lodgement service when it is so shoddy. @Trung_Than why should we have to change our browser to make this work when other options just work!!!! I won't be using the ATO's service.

    So, of the "two options for lodging tax online" your third option is to use a tax agent with an online option and claim their fee as a deduction.
    • MyTax is not that bad

      It only took me 10 minutes to disable the Ad Blocker and lodge my tax return. I love it!
  • A captive audience?

    This is the second article I've read recently that, while at least presenting some of the issues associated with MyTax, hasn't bothered to present it in an industry-wide context. Where is the analysis of how this relates to existing commercial services offered by tax agents (which many Australians use), and what it's going to do to that sector?
  • Tax Agents had better get used to working

    Any tax returns that were better prepared by a registered Tax Agent will still require their services. The simple salary and wage return which never really required a Tax Agent and were really gravy for the Agents will be done more simply on line and a lot cheaper.

    The Tax Office has already indicated that they are working to eliminate the necessity for Salary & Wage earners to lodge a tax return at all, so the gravy days for the Agents is close to being over. From an industry wide context I would say tough; the charging of excessive and unnecessary fees driven by taxpayers fear will be severely curtailed; so get used to it.
  • Was This Software Tested For Older People in Senior/Pensioner Age Group

    I just tried to use the myTax online, and after completing my spouse details, I was presented with a 'Tax Code' drop down selection containing the letters A - F, each on a single line with no explanation as to what each of the letters means.

    I called the support line, and they were able to confirm the absence of any explanatory information as to what each of the letters means.

    Unfortunately it isn't possible to proceed further without selecting one of the letters.

    Does the ATO expect us to take guess as to which option to use, and hope we get it correct ?