Protecting your online information

Your business information is often the most important and valuable asset of your business. Before you go online to do business tasks, it’s important to have measures in place to protect your business information.

Stay Smart Online is an online safety and security website. The website can:

  • help you understand the risks
  • provide simple steps you can take to protect your online information.

Tip: Sign up for the free Stay Smart Online alert service to stay up-to-date on the latest online threats.

Australian Taxation Office (ATO) online services

The ATO offers a number of online services for you to do your business reporting and transactions with them. These online options are convenient, secure and can be accessed at any time.

Most of your business reporting and transactions with the ATO can be completed online using:

  • Business Portal
  • Standard Business Reporting (SBR) enabled business accounting software
  • MyGov - if you’re a sole trader.

Business Portal

The Business Portal is the main online tool for businesses to deal with the ATO. Through the Business Portal, you can:

  • prepare and lodge activity statements
  • test and lodge reports, such as the payment summary annual report and TFN declaration
  • manage your ATO accounts and update your business registration details
  • register for goods and services tax (GST) and pay as you go withholding (PAYG withholding)
  • send and receive mail through a secure mailbox.

Tip: To access the Business Portal, you'll need to first set up Manage ABN Connections or have an AUSkey.

Lodge reports directly from your business software (Standard Business Reporting)

If your business/accounting software is enabled for Standard Business Reporting, you can prepare and lodge a range of reports, forms and statements to the ATO directly.

SBR works by using the information you record in your business/accounting software to prefill the relevant reports you need to provide to the ATO.

If you’re using SBR-enabled online (cloud) software, you don't need an AUSkey. However if you’re not using SBR-enabled online (cloud) software, you must have an AUSkey.

Tip: Looking for SBR-enabled software? The SBR Products Register lists SBR-enabled products and their reporting capabilities.

Did you know?

Single Touch Payroll - If you’re an employer you’ll need to report payments directly to the ATO from your payroll solution at the same time you pay your employees. Payments include:

  • salaries and wages
  • pay as you go (PAYG) withholding
  • super information.

Online services for sole traders

If you’re a sole trader, you can manage your tax and super through your myGov account once it’s linked to the ATO.

Benefits of using myGov include:

  • one username and password to securely access a range of personal and business-related government services
  • the ability to link one or more ABNs to a single myGov account
  • a quick and easy way to let multiple government departments know about updates to your personal details
  • a single inbox to receive messages from government departments, including the ATO.

Linking your myGov account to the ATO will provide you with a secure access to complete business activities such as:

  • lodging your tax return using myTax
  • checking the progress of your tax return
  • finding and managing your super
  • managing your pay as you go (PAYG) instalments
  • making a payment or creating a payment plan
  • viewing and updating your contact details
  • lodging, viewing or revising your activity statements.

Tip: myGov will send you an SMS or email notification to advise you when your activity statement is available.

Did you know?

If your myGov account is linked to the ATO, you can log into your myGov account using voice authentication. To set it up, you will need to use the ATO app.

If you:

  • have already enrolled your voiceprint with the ATO - link your voiceprint to your device with the ATO app.
  • need to enrol your voiceprint - follow the prompts on the ATO app or call the ATO on 13 28 61 to set it up.

Once you have set up voice authentication, use the ATO app to verify your identity and log into ATO online services quickly and easily.

Small Business Superannuation Clearing House

If you have employees, the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is a free online service that lets you pay your employees’ super contributions in one transaction.

Through the Clearing House, all you have to do is make your super guarantee (SG) contributions as a single electronic payment. The Clearing House then distributes the payments to your employees' funds.

You can use this service if you have:

  • 19 or fewer employees, or
  • an annual aggregated turnover of $2 million or less.

Find out more about using and registering for the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House on the ATO website. 

Did you know?

If you’re not sure whether you have to pay super for your employees, have a look at Super for employers to find out. You will also find information on:

  • setting up super
  • how much to pay for super contributions
  • how to pay contributions. 

Other online government services for business

Find other free government tools and resources available online to help you meet your responsibilities.

Australian Business Register (ABR)

Through the Australian Business Register website, you can:

  • update your ABN details, including your address, email, phone number or business type
  • apply for other registrations
  • cancel your ABN, including if you have changed your mind about starting your business.

Tip: You must update your ABN details within 28 days of any changes.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

ASIC’s online services allow you to perform a range of tasks, including:

  • registering your business name
  • updating your details with ASIC
  • searching ASIC's registers
  • lodging certain documents.

Department of Home Affairs

The Department of Home Affair’s SkillSelect is an online service that helps you to quickly and easily find skilled workers from overseas to fill skill shortages. If you’re unable to find employees with the skills you need in your business, the service can help you to connect with potential overseas workers with the skills you are looking for.

You will need an AUSkey to access this service.

IP Australia

The IP Australia (intellectual property) website provides information on patents, trademarks and designs, including search tools to make sure your idea, invention or brand isn’t already registered.

You can also register for eServices to apply, register, renew and pay for IP rights.