Australians attempting to lodge their tax return are reporting being stuck in a queue landing page — some for more than an hour — as the tax office deals with a huge volume of people accessing the site.
Logging in to myGov and visiting the Australian Tax Office website directs some people to a waiting room, with a welcome message saying: “Hang tight! You’re in the queue.”
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“To ensure the best experience when you gain access to our online services, we’re currently managing the number of people who can log in. Thanks for being patient,” it says.
While some people may not have noticed the function before, the ATO says the online waiting room was actually introduced in April 2020 to deal with user traffic.
“In order to manage high volumes of users accessing ATO Online services during tax time, we have activated the ATO online waiting room, which provides a waiting room experience to help manage user traffic and ensure system performance for ATO online users,” an ATO spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au.
Frustrated users unfamiliar with the waiting room process took to social media to vent, with some claiming they were stuck in line for more than an hour.
“Been waiting in the queue to access to ATO to do tax returns for over an hour, says not to refresh the screen … doesn’t give an estimated time,” one person tweeted.
“Waiting page to access the ATO through myGov!?! Are they taking the p***? Surely, our taxpaying money can afford proper servers,” another said.
Another user added: “A queue to get into a website? Really?”
The ATO said the waiting room has been in place since 2020 and is a tool for “ensuring continuity of service under conditions of excessive demand or unforeseen events affecting system performance”.
“It is a standard method used by many organisations to manage online user experience,” they said.
“This means while some users are still able to access our online services without issue, others are placed in a queue to await access to services.
“There is no need to call and report this matter.”
Australians have until October 31 to lodge their tax returns if they are preparing it themselves, while those using a tax agent to may be able to lodge later than October.
“We also remind taxpayers that waiting until the end of July allows the ATO to collect data from banks, financial institutions, private health insurers and government agencies to make the lodgment process smoother and easier and ensure any tax refund arrives faster,” the ATO said.
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