Australian Taxation Office: Contemporary digital services for taxpayers

Delivering personalised and relevant digital services that offer Australian taxpayers new ways of managing tax obligations online.


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is Australia’s federal revenue agency, responsible for collecting more than A$330 billion (US$240 billion) each year from taxpayers. Its 20,000 employees administer tax and superannuation for 26 million customers in Australia and overseas.

Under the Australian Government’s "Digital First" policy, by 2017 all government agencies must use digital channels as their primary avenue for communicating with customers and delivering services. In response to community expectations for digital interactions, the ATO partnered with Accenture to define and deliver digital services.

Based on ATO clients’ preference to use the ATO’s online services portal, ATO Online, the ATO then launched the Priority Digital Services (PDS) project to deliver its first tranche of contemporary digital services.


Harnessing a long-term partnership that has already successfully delivered numerous projects, the ATO selected Accenture as its delivery partner. The project’s delivery approach was defined using a combination of Agile project management methodologies, including Scrum, the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and Accenture Delivery Methods (ADM) for Agile Development.

A key task during the project definition and roll-out phase was to identify product managers and owners within the business and give them direct control of the solution and the delivery priorities.

Through a series of workshops, Accenture and the ATO developed and defined a set of required features and functions.


The Priority Digital Services (PDS) project was successfully delivered in June 2015, on time and under budget. Today, the ATO offers personalised digital services that save time and are easy to use.

The Agile delivery approach provided a dynamic feedback loop that allowed business stakeholders to see product development in real time and adjust the design as the application took shape through an interactive process. Agile methodologies and development operations allowed the ATO team to make changes throughout the delivery phase, to incorporate user feedback without increasing cost or risk.

This is an important step in the ATO’s digital services journey. PDS has established the delivery mechanisms and enterprise architecture to roll-out digital services with a business-led, user-centric approach. This is a significant step towards achieving the ATO’s digital strategy and meeting the expectations of both government and citizens.