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15 May 09 On double standards for tax payments

MEMBER 2 writes: "In an emailed broadcast dated 5 May 2009 we were advised that if you were silly enough to lodge clients' company or super fund income tax returns early then those clients are going to be penalised. They will have to pay any tax due by 15 May 2009. However later lodgers can hold their funds for an additional 22 days - they don't have to pay until 5 June 2009.

Where is the logic behind this? There is some attempted explanation in the broadcast about the ATO IT experts haven't had enough time since 18 February to change due dates on client accounts. Surely this can't be correct? Doesn't seem fair or good enough."

MEMBER 3 writes: "Yesterday we received the ATO circular advising of the extension of time to lodge and pay. Cannot they see the unfairness of their decision? Those taxpayers and their Agents who did the right thing and lodged tax returns earlier (and progressively) are being penalised by 3 weeks cash flow to pay tax.

Why should taxpayers who are only now getting their affairs in order to lodge their tax return (or who just happened to lodge after 16th Feb) receive a further 3 weeks cash flow advantage? Please do not give the fires and floods as an excuse. ALL taxpayers should have their documentation done earlier. The extension to lodge is for the workflow benefit of Tax Agents, not the taxpayers. It should not be difficult to come up with a fairer system!

Great, next year we will lodge many more returns late!

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