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12 Sep 08 Who watches the watchmen?

MEMBER 3 writes:

"Member Feedback is great and even better when the ATO replies.

I usually like to let "sleeping dogs lie" however, this morning (09/09/08), I received a Baycorp letter for a client who had not fully paid the 4th Q 2008 BAS debt. Client had paid part of it and was then paying it of as cash flow allowed and settled the debt on 09/09/08 BEFORE the letter was received. Client has a good lodgment history (across all roles) and a good payment history. The reason for this letter escapes me and would appear to be the best method to antagonise tax agents as to the current behavioural practices of the ATO.

I was a former tax officer and had much respect for the role we had to fulfil; however, gradually my respect for my former employer is waning.

I note that the letter from Baycorp is dated 04/09/08 showing a balance outstanding of $6,781.00 and the portal indicates that on a process date of 02/09/08 and effective date of 01/09/08 the balance outstanding was $4,002.00. I fervently hope that Baycorp is not being paid for these hopelessly inefficient practices.

My respect/understanding further waned when I was visited by an officer from Tax Agents Relationships Branch. During the discussions we talked about a "sandwich" board that was on the footpath down the street displaying/advertising tax return preparation. In particular, the officer asked who was there! I would have thought he would have had that information. After our discussion he said he would "check it out". About a week later he telephoned me and said that he could do nothing about the matter unless I lodged a formal complaint about unregistered services to the specific investigation area of the ATO. Duh! What else do we have to for them...are they not the "gate keepers"? Naturally, I let the "sleeping dog lie".

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