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MEMBER 4 writes:

"We have been told by the ATO on a phonecall that no tax returns for individuals are being processed - with the first refunds scheduled to be released on 15 February 2010, and hopefully the backlog will be cleared by 28 February 2010.
So much for clients’ returns lodged about 6 January 2010 - they hopefully will have them back within 2 months. So is this a well managed change program? I'd hate to see a poorly managed one - it would be a warp back to the ATO in 1999/2000."

MEMBER 5 writes:

"What is happening at the ATO, as they still are not processing any tax returns, nor are they issuing any assessments?

We were advised that the processing was to shut down from early January to early February. I lodged tax returns for clients before Christmas and the ATO still have not processed them and I have not received any assessments or refund cheques for my clients.

Whilst I understand that the ATO issued a statement to tell us all to lodge returns early, unfortunately our clients do not understand why the returns should be lodged or about the ATO shutdown.

As many tax practitioners get their fees from the tax refunds, the fact that the ATO are still not processing any refunds is starting to have a very big impact on the running of some practices as they are not receiving any income at all and they must pay out wages and other normal business running expenses.

I have now found out that as of today's date, 8 February 2010, the ATO still have as yet not turned back on their computer systems.

They are expecting to do this by about 15 February 2010 and expect to try and catch up with the backlog of processing by the end of February 2010.

This is just ridiculous as we have not, to the best of my knowledge, been provided with any of this information by way of broadcast messages and we are just expected to raise our own funding to support ourselves as a result of the ATO not really caring about us tax agents."

MEMBER 6 writes:

"Telephone: Ring, ring
Receptionist: Good Morning, XYZ Accountants, how can I help you?
Caller: I'm from the ATO, calling about one of your clients.
Receptionist: I'm sorry but we've shut down our computer systems for 6 to 8 weeks while the firm's server is upgraded. We're having a new integrated core processing system, called ICPS.
Caller: Uh?
Receptionist: These delays are temporary, and we apologise for any inconvenience. We appreciate your understanding and patience while we implement our new system. Can you call back sometime in April?

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