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Christmas BAS wishes from the Tax Commissioner

Publication date: 27 Nov 00 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

"The Institute welcomes any move by the Commissioner to alleviate the enormous pressure placed on tax practitioners and their clients during the introductory phases of the new tax system," said Taxation Institute of Australia President, Mr Ray Conwell.

"The Commissioner's grant of an additional two weeks for agent lodged returns is certainly a positive step", he said, "and responds to concerns raised by the Taxation Institute and professional associations over an extended period."

"However,", Mr Conwell added, "what is concerning is the announced timeframe for despatch of the second quarter Statements which will coincide directly with the Christmas mailing period."

"According to a letter sent to tax practitioners on Friday 24th November, the earliest the Taxation Office will commence issuing activity statements is Tuesday 12th December, 2000. This letter further states that these Statements will be progressively despatched with the latest day of receipt estimated to be Thursday 21st December, 2001," Mr Conwell said.

"Given the traditional slow down - or, in some cases, shut down - for the Christmas/New Year period, even if the Business Activity Statements were delivered prior to Christmas Day, few businesses will have the opportunity to start looking at these forms until at least the new year."

The introduction of a new facility for Business Activity Statements to be reissued overnight via the ELS BAS-out facility is also good news.

While all these measures are to be welcomed and the Commissioner congratulated for his positive response, the reality is that the BAS has placed substantial burden on business and tax practitioners. Far from being an abolition of the old Provisional Tax System, the BAS has merely added further complexity and compliance costs to what was a relatively simple system of estimating income for instalment purposes.