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21 Aug 09 On ATO attitudes to tax agents

MEMBER 12 writes:

"I endorse 100% the comments of Member 1 in 2009 TAXVINE No 28 (17 July 2009). In particular, it is the "no respect" aspect which the Member stated that I endorse.

This morning, after requesting a GST extension for a most respected and regular lodging client, I received a phone call from ATO today asking why my client was in hospital. My infuriated reply was to tell ATO officer that she was effectively calling me a liar and under no circumstance would I ask my client (a lady) why she was in hospital.

We are treated like naughty children who can't be trusted to arrange our work load to suit our clients and can't be trusted to fill in forms with standard reasons for extensions of time - No excuse as defined by ATO - No extension. What God given right has the ATO to sit in stereotyped judgment as to why an agent asks for an extension? At the same time, the agent signs tax returns for millions of dollars to protect the revenue of the Government, having studied ethics and tax law and earned a respected place in the community, even being permitted to sign passport applications.

It is time our leaders stood up to the dictatorial attitude of ATO policy and the trivial nature of ATO procedures, and provided some respect for the way in which tax agents manage their offices."

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