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27 Nov 09 ATO - can you help this Member?

MEMBER 40 writes:

"I have an ongoing problem with the ATO which commenced on 17 February 2003 - that's right, 2003.

The ATO issued a Superannuation Surcharge Assessment for one of my client's SMSF. The assessment was for an unknown person who was not a member of my client's SMSF. I telephoned the ATO (March 2003) and the officer agreed the assessment did not belong to my client, and silly me, I assumed it would be corrected. Then along came Superannuation Account Statements, Demands for payment and Notice of Intended Legal Action/Garnishee. Obviously, in the interests of my client, I responded to these "demands" with telephone calls, faxes and letters to the ATO in an attempt to resolve this matter. These attempts were made in March 2003, June 2003, May 2004, September 2004, April 2005, August 2007, September 2007 and July 2008. Also during September 2008, the ATO Relationship Manager paid me a visit - he took the information away with him - I never heard another word.

No response from the ATO was ever received regarding my correspondence. The telephone calls(some very lengthy) all resulted in the ATO officers agreeing the debt did not belong to my client's SMSF. However, not one of the officers took the interest or responsibility to resolve the issue. I received another Account Statement this week demanding payment.

This is an ATO initiated error, why have I had to spend so much unpaid time trying to stop legal proceedings? Does anyone know what I can do next?"

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