ATO's myTax website struggles with online tax return lodgement

A number of Australians have reported difficulties with lodging their tax returns through the myGov portal in its first year.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

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.

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