Expected to replace AUSkey.

The Australian Taxation Office is building a new digital identity proofing and credential solution that will improve how tax agents verify themselves before accessing digital services.

The solution, dubbed AUSid, is expected to replace the AUSkey online security credential that tax professionals and businesses use when dealing with the government online.

AUSkey was introduced seven years ago as part of the ATO’s standard business reporting (SBR) program to allow businesses to use a single credential across various government services.

The public key infrastructure can be used by tax practitioners to change an ABN and lodge a business activity statement, as well as to access government services outside the ATO, including from the Department of Human Services and Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

But tax practitioners have complained of limitations with AUSkey and its failure to keep pace with changes in technology, and the ATO has already moved to introduce software that removes the need for practitioners to use an AUSkey to perform secure transactions.

Last year ATO chief digital officer John Dardo revealed the agency did not see a “long term future” for AUSkey, and would likely replace it over the coming years.

The new AUSid will align with the national federated digital identity ecosystem known as Govpass.

It is intended to streamline the process by which a practitioner provides their identity online and help prevent fraud, while allowing them to access online services from any mobile or desktop device.

Practitioners will be required to scan and verify their identity documents through the document verification service (DVS) using a device’s camera.