Australian Tax Office heads to open commerce standards


ATO goes after open commerce standards – News – iTnews Mobile Edition

My Comments

Previously, when I covered the news that the Australian Tax Office will turn out a Macintosh port of their eTax electronic tax-return lodgement program, I raised the issue of them moving to an “open-frame” approach for taxation-information management.

Now they have implemented the “Standard Business Reporting” program which has a goal to move tax and superannuation information exchange to the eMMS 3.0 information-exchange standard commonly used by other Australian industries and overseas.

This opens the door for software developers to write SBR-compliant tax / superannuation-contribution preparation software that provides proper data to the Tax Office. One area I would see this facilitating would be the ability for accounting software to support tax preparation either “out of the box” or as an additional module.

The main goal for this has been the management of superannuation contributions where the ATO wants to have businesses with more than 20 staff to move to this standard platform for this purpose. This allows for data that isn’t riddled with errors.

Personally, I would see this also being able to make things easier for people who do business overseas, whether being expats who move to or from this country or those of us who sell goods or services overseas via the Internet. This is more so as the Great Financial Crisis has caused a call for proper management of taxation across borders.

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