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Tax Office business portal an aid to small business.



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EMBARGO- 1100 hrs AEDT (1000 HRS Brisbane ) March 17 2004

TAX OFFICE BUSINESS PORTAL AN AID TO SMALL BUSINESS

The launch of a Business Portal by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is an example of the bureaucracy listening to what small business wants and then delivering, the Minister for Small Business and Tourism, Joe Hockey said today.

The Business Portal is an internet gateway for business to access the Tax Office’s online services.

With the launch of the portal by Tax Commissioner, Michael Carmody, small businesses can now lodge Business Activity Statements (BAS) and view their accounts online.

The ATO Business Portal provides 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, secure access to a range of information, services and functions.

Mr Hockey said that as part of a program to make the tax system cheaper, easier and more personalised, the ATO asked businesses what improvements they could make.

“Among the requests was the ability to deal with the Tax Office online. The Business Portal is a major milestone and delivers a free, secure and convenient internet service to Australian businesses that was developed in conjunction with its potential users.

Business operators with a valid ABN, an ATO digital certificate and internet access can:

● Electronically lodge their activity statements and view previously lodged

statements ● Call up business account information

● View and update business registration details

● Request transfers and refunds of credit amounts, and

● Send and receive secure messages on a range of topics

Small businesses operators are encouraged to visit the portal at www.ato.gov.au. and register so they can lodge their next BAS electronically. Some smaller businesses may be eligible for a two week deferral on lodgement and payment if they lodge and pay online.

Mr Hockey said the Howard Government was keen for bureaucracies to communicate with small business and so last year established the Small Business Council of 12 small business operators from across Australia who provides on-going advice and possible solutions to the Government on issues that affect and impact on business growth and development.

Media enquiries: Bob Lawrence 0428 280 222