The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website and MyGov are experiencing instability and crashes as a flood of people attempt to access their superannuation early and file tax returns.
ATO Site Crash
July 1 marks the start of the new financial year, which makes it a busy time for the ATO and MyGov. But there is a second element contributing to its busier-than-usual traffic.
From today Australians can get a second round of early access to their superannuation in the wake of COVID-19. This means that they can apply to up to $10,000 from their super accounts. 2.4 million Australians applied for first round access.
Unsurprisingly, this has created an influx of users to the ATO’s website and MyGov. This has caused issues for users since this morning.
Down Detector logged a spike in problems from before 8am on Wednesday, which has continued throughout the day. The ATO’s twitter account acknowledged the issue just before 11:30am.
“You may be experiencing some delays accessing our online systems, we are aware of this and are working on it as a priority. Thank you for your patience,” the tweet read.
However, at the time of writing Down For Everyone Or Just Me showed that the site is currently live. So if you are having issues, keep checking back.
This isn’t the first COVID-19 related issues that government service websites have experience this year.
Back in March MyGov crashed after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a second coronavirus stimulus pack. This offered an extra $550 per fortnight for welfare payments for six months. It was applied to Youth Allowance, Jobseeker, parenting payments, the farm household allowance and those on other special benefits.
Minister for Government Services, Stuart Robert, initially referred to the site crash as a DDoS attack. The minister later back flipped on this statement during Question Time. “The DDoS alarms showed no evidence of a specific attack today,” said the minister. It was discovered that the server was simply not equipped to handle that many concurrent users. This may also be the issue that the ATO website is experiencing today.