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Tax professionals welcome inquiry into Tax Office refund delays

Publication date: 16 Apr 10 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

The country's leading professional association in tax, the Taxation Institute of Australia, welcomes the announcement by the Government that the Inspector-General of Taxation will probe the Australian Tax Office IT Change Program that has left 210,000 taxpayers waiting for refunds.

The Institute says the ATO's Change Program should have made it easier for tax professionals to obtain refunds for their clients - one of its stated aims is to 'deliver improvements to the client experience'.

The implementation of the Change Program has created problems for hundreds of thousands of taxpayers and tax agents.

The most significant issue with the implementation has been the delays in processing and delivering refunds. The delays have caused financial hardship for taxpayers and have resulted in unnecessary work and reputation damage for tax agents.

However, there are also other issues that the ATO needs to address, such as interest on delayed refunds, the format of the new assessment notices and lodgment deferral issues.

"We welcome the Government's announcement of an investigation by the Inspector-General but hope that the ATO will pull out all stops to rectify the problems," Institute Senior Tax Counsel Robert Jeremenko said.

"Our members work at the coalface and are seeing the problems this has created, first-hand.

"Cash flow is crucial to small business and the impact of this problem is very real.

"The Inspector-General's office is the appropriate agency to conduct this investigation but the ATO should act immediately to fix the problems."


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Media Contacts:
Robert Jeremenko, Senior Tax Counsel - Taxation Institute of Australia on 0468 987 300
Craig Regan - Lighthouse Communications (0408) 448 527