MyGov System Crashes As People Try To Lodge Tax Returns

Update 4.45pm: after crashing earlier on Friday, the MyGov website is back online, the Department of Human Services has advised.

The federal MyGov site suffered "technical difficulties" for much of Friday, as thousands of Australians rush to lodge their tax returns.

Countless people have complained that the site, which allows Aussies to manage their government services affairs such as Centrelink and tax returns, crashed on Friday morning.

Problems were reported as early as 10am, just 12 days after Australians could lodge their annual tax returns.

The result for many users when logging on. Photo: MyGov

"There are currently some technical difficulties, including some people not being able to access myGov. We apologise for any inconvenience. We are urgently investigating the issue and we’re working hard to fix this as quickly as possible," MyGov tweeted on Friday.

At 11.30am, the agency simply told users to "please try again later". By 3.30pm, the agency reported "significant improvements" had been made, but still asked people with non-urgent business to consider logging on another time.

By 4.45pm, MyGov tweeted that services had been restored, but that a "small amount of people" may still experience access issues.

The issue is not due to a sudden influx of users but to a technical communications issue, the Australian Tax Office advised.

The ATO also apologised, telling users "some of our services (incl. the portals & our online services via myGov) are currently unavailable or experiencing slowness."

Aside from tax returns, MyGov is used by Centrelink clients to report income and changes to their status, and to claim payments. The Department of Human Services advised Centrelink clients that they would extend the deadline to report their income today until 7.30pm "to ensure people are not disadvantaged".

A change to the system of filing a tax return means that all Australians must log on to MyGov to access their employer payment summary, or group certificate -- meaning that many people won't be able to file their return if the website is down.

Just two days ago, the ATO had urged Australians to wait until next month to lodge their returns.

The Department of Human Services, which manages MyGov, advised that other services including its Express Plus mobile app were also affected.

The department said it was "urgently investigating" the tech issues.

Some people shared the lack of response from the website when they tried to log on to MyGov.