Monday, September 10, 2012

Publishing Apps in the Lucky Country

I am in the process of developing a number of Titanium mobile apps for iOS that will have in-app payment processing. For which it turns out that the programming part is relatively easy, it is the administration that makes it difficult.

I was merrily coding away, and discovered only when I went to test the in-app payments that Apple would not allow me to do that until all my banking and tax info was sorted out. I can't finish the product until I have all the the admin done. Ok, fair enough.

I start jumping through the hoops, and I discover that as an app developer with a business based in Australia I am forced to register for GST before I can sell content. Again, this seems a little stupid, but I will have to do it eventually, unless the product is a complete flop. So I start to register my business for GST.

Apple redirects me to the ABR website. However, the ABR page indicates that it can no longer be done there.

That page directs me to

Which tells me I need to register for the new Australian Business Security Creditial Software AUSkey.

I went through the ridiculous processing of installing their AUSkey software into firefox on my Ubuntu machine (after their instructions for both Firefox and Safari on a Mac failed to work).

To get it running I need to install the Orcale JRE, which I discovered (post-installation) has a serious outstanding security problem. So much for Australia's cutting edge business security.

Eventually I get the Auskey installation to work and log in.

I then try and log into the Business Portal so I can register for GST, lo and behold, error pages.

For the next half and hour whenever I try and login I get presented with :
The system is temporarily unavailable. (Error Number: A918.18)
The system has encountered an unexpected error.
If the problem persists, please contact the ATO Technical Helpdesk on:
Phone 1300 139 373

Eventually I am allowed in.

What do I find ?

Nowhere in the Business Portal is there a menu item or option for "Register for GST" or "PAYG." Absolutely nothing. So I have to send an email asking for help. Now I wait until they decide to reply.

Ahhh Australia, the lucky country!

On days like to today I want to register a business in a tax haven country and forget about where I came from. The Australian government is like DRM for media, every time you come up against it nothing works properly and you wonder why you bother paying for things.


  1. Hi, John, today I was suffered the same "The system is temporarily unavailable. (Error Number: A918.18)" like you did before, want to ask about how did you solve it? Or it just got well by itself.

    1. Hi Mark,

      It just went away after a while. I kept trying and trying relentlessly. It could just be related to the number of users on their site.

      Sorry I can't provide you with any help.