Frustrating website crashes are thwarting Australians eager to get their tax returns lodged early.
Some have even likened it to trying to buy tickets to pop sensation One Direction.
The Australian Taxation Office has been working overtime to fix the technical problems with its MyTax system as people take to social media to vent their anger.
On the first day of tax season, last Wednesday, the tax office noted on its Facebook site there were “intermittent issues” with its online services.
A week later the system is still plagued with problems and the ATO continues to promise it is “working 24 hours a day to fix this issue and have many staff dedicated to this project”.
“Please be assured that we have enough staff on deck to ensure that once you do lodge there will be no delays with processing your return,” it said.
This is the second year the MyTax website has been available for people to use to lodge tax returns.
It’s supposed to speed up the process of lodging a simple tax return and let people do the whole thing online instead of having to download special software.
But many users are complaining of slow response times, repeated errors and the ATO website refusing to synchronise with the MyGov portal needed to use it.
“Using #mygov #mytax is just like trying to buy #onedirection tickets … slow, difficult and #disappointing. Get it together @ato_gov_au!” Angelo Livanos tweeted on Wednesday.
Another tweeter said MyTax had crashed 19 times in less than an hour before they managed to successfully submit their return.
The federal opposition has blamed staff cuts for the problems.
Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh says the tax office’s IT system was obviously struggling to keep up.
“I don’t blame the tax office, I blame a government which expects agencies to roll out new systems while slashing the public service,” he told ABC radio on Wednesday.