Tax Office releases AUSkey for Linux

Tested with Ubuntu, may work other Linux distributions

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has made good on its promise to support Linux in its next-generation authentication software, dubbed AUSkey, with the reference distribution being Ubuntu with the Firefox Web browser.

In October the ATO said AUSkey for Linux would be available before the end of the year after fist announcing its intention to support the platform back in July.

AUSkey is the ATO’s new public key infrastructure (PKI) authentication software for secure data exchange when submitting tax returns and other information and is necessary to use the Department of Treasury’s Standard Business Reporting (SBR) program.

SBR is online at: https://www.sbr.gov.au.

Up until now, AUSkey ran on Windows and Mac OS X only and some Linux users who previously used the old common-use signing interface (CSI) client for Mac OS X were left stranded when it was replaced with the new AUSKey.

In an announcement from the ATO today, the AUSkey registration, download and installation process has been “successfully tested with Ubuntu 10.04 and Firefox 3.6 and may also work with other versions”.

“The latest release will assist software developers to integrate AUSkey into their financial and accounting software packages for Linux users,” the statement read.

However, a Linux user with an AUSkey “may not automatically guarantee Linux-based access to the government online services that accept AUSkey”.

To find out which government agencies accept AUSkey, see: http://www.abr.gov.au/auskey.

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Tags LinuxSBRATOauthenticationAustralian Taxation Office (ATO)ubuntuAuskeypki

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