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28 Nov 08 More on ATO debt collections

MEMBER 1 writes:

"I agree with your various correspondents on the issue of us being regarded as tax collectors for the ATO. Almost every day now I'm getting letters and/or phone calls from Dun and Bradstreet and other debt collectors regarding most past clients (as I'm now semi retired and have taken most clients off my lists via the Portal and by CDs).

To no avail!!

And these people are aggressive in their demands, what with either demanding that we phone the clients (often late at night) or that we provide them with mobile and private phone numbers. If the ATO is 'factoring' out their debts this might be o.k. for them, but it certainly is not for practitioners."

MEMBER 2 writes:

"What sort of oversight is there at the ATO before “debts” are farmed out? I’ve just had a phone call from Recoveries Corporation chasing a debt for a client’s integrated account, and on checking the Portal I find a credit for exactly that amount. I did a small vent at the time (not blaming the collector, of course), but I can’t understand why there isn’t a procedure for offsetting such obvious misallocations before the private sector has their time wasted. Obviously the ATO doesn’t care about wasted time and effort, but surely the collectors should be getting mildly annoyed, as well. I’d hate to think how many “recalcitrants” they would contact, to then be told there isn’t actually a debt to be collected.

Rant over, thanks for the chance to air frustrations."

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