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MEMBER 377 writes:

"Member 358 wrote, with the optimism of youth - see 2010 TAXVINE No 49 (3 December 2010) - 'I am a relatively young sole practitioner. It is quite amusing to read each week all the complaints re ATO incompetence.'

You say 'We get paid reasonable money. Yes, we put up with numerous administration bungles by the ATO but it's the system.' Guess what? The system has always had its flaws but in the past 12 months the flaws have developed into incompetence, with the Commissioner & the Deputy Commissioners having absolutely no understanding of how their own tax system works, or should I say doesn't work, staff that are good at apologising but are powerless to do anything about your situation, staff that have no ability to talk to so called experts but are only able to send emails to other departments. Basically we have an organisation that is unable to assist other than send emails. Sorry the word is EXPEDITE. What a joke expedite has turned into when it can now take 6 months or more to expedite.

Guess what? It wasn't always so. The system though flawed was workable. The so-called upgrade has stuffed up the Portal, tax returns, amendments, etc. It is no longer workable. There is not a day that goes by whereby I do not receive 1 to 5 calls from clients who are confused, frustrated, etc. Waste of my time. I now tell them what a pathetic organisation the ATO is and how the staff, though nice, are unable to fix anything.

Finally, has anyone else noticed the $550 per year fines now issued by the ATO for not lodging returns, even if new companies, etc have never traded? Not revenue raising, surely? The police have their radar guns. The ATO have more guns.

PS The ATO rang me two weeks ago to tell me my client's 2009 amended Super fund return (received by the ATO in March 2010) is still not able to be processed because the new you beaut tax program is STILL unable to do amendments. Seems someone in the ATO doesn’t know how to manually process a return and issue a Reserve Bank cheque."

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