Auditors to switch ATO inquiry services

ATO auditors inquiry

The ATO has closed an inquiry and reporting channel for SMSF auditors as it transitions to new, faster online services.

The ATO has reminded SMSF auditors it has closed the professional-to-professional (P2P) mailbox previously used to request non-binding guidance, but has assured users its new program will offer a faster response.

The corporate regulator noted auditors’ inquiries submitted via the P2P mailbox prior to its closure in late December 2021 will be actioned using the same processes.

Submissions lodged in the few weeks following its closure can expect to receive an automatic response, which will include instructions providing advice on how to lodge an inquiry via the ATO’s Online Services for Business (OSB).

The new service offered by the ATO has been designed to help improve its response time for tax and superannuation professionals making inquiries for tailored interpretative assistance or advice.

The ATO said OSB will provide better outcomes as it will maintain a continuous record of inquiries, keep individuals informed on the process of an inquiry, including when the submission has been assigned to an officer, and ensure a faster response by simplifying the process.

“If you’re seeking interpretative assistance, you can access our range of guidance and self-help products,” it said, adding auditors seeking technical and interpretative assistance for specific circumstances that cannot be resolved online should contact the regulator via mail or phone.

In addition, the ATO has announced its decision to decommission the electronic superannuation audit tool (eSAT) on 1 March 2022 in order to also transfer its functions to OSB.

While the regulator has asked SMSF auditors to transition as soon as possible, an email will further alert auditors when the transition is required.

“To switch, simply log in or sign up for OSB through our website. If you are new to our services, you may need to set up your myGovID and link it to your relationship authorisation manager,” it said.

It said further improvements to OSB tools will include the ability to prepopulate auditor details into auditor contravention reports (ACR) and audit complete advice forms, messages with prompts to download a copy of an ACR and increasing the number of draft ACR forms that can be saved and how long they can be saved for.

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