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As mentioned last week the LWG met on the afternoon of Thursday 4 September 2008 and on Friday 5 September 2008 (see 2008 TAXVINE No 35 (2) (6 September 2008)). One clear outcome of the meeting was a general acceptance by the ATO to leave the lodgment program relatively untouched for 2009/10. This is a welcome outcome that has been sought by many Taxation Institute members.

The ATO will also continue to focus on providing support to agents in meeting the lodgment program. Examples of the strategies include the Tax Agent Lodgment Assistance (TALA) program which not only provides long term assistance to tax agents in difficulty (“managed agents”) but an “assisted agent” program with allows for shorter term deferral assistance. The deferrals strategies will also be reviewed to ensure that they are reinforcing compliance with the program rather than creating further systemic lodgment lags.

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