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ATO to redevelop e-tax

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Australian Taxation Office (ATO) officials are looking to expand the capacity of its e-tax client application to accept pre-prepared data, with information from financial institutions and share registers top of the list.


In a request for tender issued last week, the ATO said a revamped e-tax system would expand on current functionality that allowed taxpayers to download Centrelink payment summary and Medicare medical expense data into their electronically-filed tax return, eliminating the need for manual inputs.


The ATO is planning to upgrade its e-tax product to accommodate growth that will see e-tax users make up the majority of the 2.7 million individual self-preparer market over the next three to four years.


The redeveloped system would, the ATO said, also allow future connectivity to client e-return preparation applications and commercial record keeping applications.


The ATO also signalled potential wider uses for the software in its request for tender.


“The Tax Office welcomes options for functionality and integration beyond e-tax that could include, but not be restricted to, record keeping, tax calculators, tax tools and help file.”


The ATO advised tenderers not to be constrained by current technology in their responses.


The successful tenderer will design, build, test and support the redeveloped software. They must also provide “a transfer of skills” to enable support of the redeveloped e-tax by ATO technology staff.


The contract is “estimated” to start on 15 May 2006, with the redeveloped e-tax to be available for piloting from the lodgement season starting 1 July 2007.

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