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This is a subject matter that just won't go away. MEMBER 5 writes:

"I received a phone call on Saturday 5 July at 12.30pm on the office phone (which also doubles as the home phone) from a lady representing some debt collection agency. She wanted to contact one of my former clients who supposedly has an ATO debt. I explained that my former client had retired and receives the aged pension and therefore does not need to lodge any further returns, hence I had previously notified the ATO that no further returns would be lodged and I also deleted him from my client list.

When I asked the lady what the issue was she said that I was no longer the tax agent attached to this client but I was the telephone contact that the ATO gave the debt collector. For them to give me any information I needed to add the taxpayer via the portal to my client list. I had no intention of doing this and told the lady that I had no contact address or phone number for the taxpayer as he has changed address.

What a waste of time this whole exercise turned out to be and just to think that the lady was probably being paid at Saturday penalty rates.

By the way I look forward to reading the Member Feedback each week as it helps keep one’s sanity in the hurley burley of the coal face of the tax profession."

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