Tax Office to collect Tax via e-commerce

The e-commerce revolution is set to receive a boost later this year in Australia when millions of people have the opportunity to submit their tax returns electronically.

Behind the push is the public key certificates and certification authority software technology from low-profile information security company, Security Domain, that guarantees users complete message security.

John Palfreyman, Security Domain's executive director, said the new Web-based system allows taxpayers to complete their tax returns in a secure environment, assured by the Australian Tax Office's (ATO's) use of Security Domain's "digital signature" technology.

Palfreyman said the ATO project will publicly demonstrate that e-commerce technology is available now and secure enough for transactions as nationally important as tax returns.

"What's going to drive the initial uptake of e-commerce is awareness," he said. "The point (with the ATO project) is, it affects us all."

Naturally, Palfreyman hopes the ATO project will also raise the profile of his company, which only last week joined forces with British-based security specialist Zergo Holdings.

The new company, Zergo Asia-Pacific, will combine the product sets from Security Domain and Zergo to focus on providing a complete range of cryptographic security solutions, Palfreyman said.

"The new company combines Security Domain's proven software-based security solutions for electronic commerce with Zergo's strengths in hardware encryption products for the banking and government markets," he said. "It was very synergistic, there was no overlap."

According to Palfreyman, Zergo Asia-Pacific will develop a niche market providing "message-level security," an alternative to traditional network security.

He also said the company will aggressively compete against the rise of "me too" players in the increasingly dynamic e-commerce and security markets. "You will see a squeezing out of the smaller players," he said.

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