Introducing myGovID.


3rd February, 2020

AUSkey retires next month, replaced by new myGovID system

As of the end of March 2020, myGovID will become the new and only way for SMEs to gain access to government business services. Here’s what you need to know.

For the last ten years, Australian business owners have been using AUSkey to access various government services for business.

The AUSkey has allowed them to login to their Australian Taxation (ATO) portals, update their Australian Business Number (ABN) details, and securely access services from the likes of the Department of Human Services or the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

But after receiving complaints about AUSkey’s limitations and inability to integrate into more advanced business systems, the Government began working on a new digital identification solution called ‘myGovID’. The new solution would address all of AUSkey’s flaws, while offering a more secure and seamless way to access many of the online services that the Government offers Australian businesses.

Since 2015, the Government has spent in excess of $200 million on creating this solution, and at the end of next month, AUSkey will officially be rendered obsolete and Australian businesses will have no choice but to jump onboard the myGovID bandwagon.

Change is never easy, and for small business owners with many other pressing issues at hand, an easy transition into the myGovID era is important. So, here is a brief overview on how myGovID works, the main services you’ll need it for going forward, and how to set it up.

100 points of ID – but on your smartphone

myGovID is a simple and secure way of verifying who you are through a smartphone app which guards your identity behind the device’s biometric capabilities (like FaceID or a fingerprint).

Think of it as an app that verifies and stores your 100 points of ID for you, making it easy to access this information whenever necessary.

All you need to do is download the myGovID app, upload your 100 points of ID and have them verified. From that point forward, log in to the app and it will generate an authentication code that gives access to the government service you’re after.

Authorising others to act on your behalf

While it’s certainly helpful for business owners to securely access government services with ease, there are many instances where the business owner will need an associate or a professional services provider to access these services on their behalf.

So, instead of requiring the business owner to hand their smartphone to their accountant every time they need access to the ATO portal, the Government has created the Relationship Authorisation Management (RAM) system, which has been launched hand-in-hand with myGovID.

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The RAM is a tool that allows business owners to authorise others to access various government services on their behalf and allows them to manage the level of access that has been authorised as well.

For example, you can authorise your financial controller to receive full access the business’ ATO portal, and your tax practitioner with a more restricted access to the portal. At the same time, you can restrict them both from accessing all other government services available to your business.

In order for an employee or a service provider to receive this authorisation, they too must have their own myGovID, and will need to use them each time they wish to access the service.

Key government services that will require myGovID

From the end of next month, there will be a suite of government business services that will be impossible to access without a myGovID (in conjunction with the RAM).

Here’s a list of the some of the key services that will be impacted as of March 2020:

  • ATO: Single Touch Payroll, lodging tax returns and other online tax functions
  • Austrade: Lodgement of the Export Market Development Grant submission
  • Australian Business Register (ABR): Updating the business’ ABN details
  • Department of Human Services – Centrelink Services: Lodging Paid Parental forms online

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The full list of services that will only be accessible through the myGovID app can be found here.

So, what do I do now?

Now that you’ve received rundown of what myGovID is all about, here is what you need to do to get started:

  • Head over to the ABR website and make sure that all of your details are up to date
  • Download the MyGovID application onto your iOS or Android device
  • Create your MyGovID by uploading and verifying you 100 points of ID
  • Link your ABN to your MyGovID by logging onto the RAM website
  • Begin authorising others on the RAM

After reading through the above and following these steps, you should experience a smooth and seamless transition into the new era of MyGovID, especially if you get in early and make the transition before AusKey is officially retired.