[Linux-aus] Proprietary MyGovID app to be the only way to login to ATO Business Portal

Jack Burton jack at saosce.com.au
Tue Mar 24 18:54:52 AEDT 2020

On Tue, 2020-03-24 at 17:44 +1100, Ben Sturmfels via linux-aus wrote: 
> Essentially the ATO is switching off the nice email/password/SMS-code
> MyGov login method I use to access the Business Portal to manage
> tax/GST/PAYG/super. The are replacing this with login via a proprietary
> mobile app called, confusingly, MyGovID. I'm late to the party, with the
> changeover due in only a few days time, but better late than not heard
> at all.

For a government to force businesses to use non-free software is indeed
a rather nasty thing...

...but the problem seems to be even broader than that.

If "a proprietary *mobile* app" [emphasis mine] is indeed to become the
only accepted means of authentication...

...does that also mean that those of us who (for all the usual good
reasons) refuse to use so-called "smart" phones at all will not be
able to use that ATO service at all either?

So it seems -- you covered that in your letter too.

This move then is one which attempts to force Australian tax-paying
companies to do business with either Apple or Google...

...ironically, two companies which are famous for *not* paying their
fair share of taxes.

Take a moment for that to sink in -- in order to pay our taxes, the
government now wants us to do business with serial tax-evaders!

I suspect the official response will be that businesses who want to can
still lodge on paper (for most, but sadly no longer all, returns) or
via a registered tax agent (for all returns, with the agent's fees
being deductible in the following period)...

...but given the ATO has spent the last decade or so trying to bully
Australians into not lodging anything on paper any more, and that tax
agents do not appear to be classified as "essential services" under the
current state of emergency (which the PM has said publicly he expects
to last until well after EOFY), that strikes me as a rather weak

Good luck with your campaign -- I hope you can get them to see the
error of their ways.

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