26 Sep 1414
A breach of the Code?
MEMBER 146 writes:
"On Friday the ATO contacted our office and spoke to secretarial staff and insisted that they provide phone number and address [of a client].
The secretarial staff could not provide this information as they were not satisfied with the cold caller's ID; also, the Partners were not available.
Then our staff received this email referring to the Code of Professional Conduct.
'Hi (staff member name)
I request you provide all phone contact numbers and residential addresses held by your organisation for (taxpayer named).
I have also attached a section from the following website:
'An agent will breach the Code where the agent knowingly obstructs the Commissioner or the Board, or officers properly acting on behalf of the Commissioner or the Board in performing their respective statutory duties and functions as required by the taxation laws [see para 150 of Explanatory Paper TPB 01/2010].'
I look forward to your prompt reply.
[Name and contact details deleted]'
I sent a response to the ATO officer indicating to him that there is a due process and privacy.
I also requested advice as to where specifically we have contravened the Code of Professional Conduct.
I also indicated to the ATO officer that the information is on the Portal so, if I can access it, so could he??
I am still not sure how the secretarial staff (or indirectly our business) have contravened this Code."