ATO lodgement page crashes due to ‘high traffic volume’ as financial year rolls over

The website for the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has crashed due to high demand on the first day of the 2020-21 financial year.

Apologising for the inconvenience, the ATO said the site was “currently experiencing a high volume of traffic”.

“We understand significant numbers of people need to access our online services,” the statement from the ATO said.

It appears only the page where returns are lodged is out of operation, with other pages on the ATO’s website still running as normal.

The ATO asked those hoping to lodge their returns to “try again later” as it worked to resolve the issue.

“We are investigating this as a priority, and our technicians are working to resolve the issue,” an ATO spokesperson said.

In mid-June, the ATO advised the 14 million Australians set to lodge their returns to wait until the end of July, in order to minimise errors.

Claims for super also adding to demand: ATO

The spokesperson said the higher demand for their services could be in part due to people applying for an early release of their superannuation.

The Federal Government announced earlier this year that Australians could access their super as a way to ease financial stress due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The arrival of the 2020-21 financial year has also brought with it hope of further financial relief for some.

A new method for calculating tax deductions associated with working from home has been introduced in light of the changes to people’s working lives since March.

People will be able to claim 80 cents per hour for all their running expenses, rather than needing to calculate costs for specific running expenses.

Last week, the ATO said rental property owners that have had their mortgage repayments deferred due to COVID-19 could still claim the interest on their tax bills.

Airbnb owners, who have suffered losses throughout the pandemic, will also be able to claim deductions provided the property is still genuinely available for rent.

But the ATO said those that had been awarded insurance payouts for loss of rental income due to COVID-19, bushfires or floods would still be taxed on it.