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MEMBER 118 writes:

"The outsourcing of debt recovery by the ATO to Recoveries Corporation Pty Ltd is a dismal failure and should be reversed immediately.

I got a call from a Recoveries Corporation staff member last Friday 8th July chasing a client's 'outstanding' PAYG instalment from the March 2011 quarter of a 'whopping' $1,310.

a) I emailed the ATO via the Tax Agents Portal advising them that we had completed the taxpayer's 2009/10 income tax return and that he was going to be due a refund of more than the outstanding PAYG Instalment which would be used to clear the debt and to 'call the dogs off' in respect to the outstanding amount.
b) The amount had been paid on 7 July by offsetting portion of his 2009/10 income tax refund against the outstanding balance (the day before the phone call).

When I passed this information on to the guy from Recoveries Corporation and suggested he check the balance of the account and emails he advised me that they do not have access to this information.

Lo and behold, today (13th July) I received a threatening letter dated 11 July demanding that the 'outstanding' amount be paid.

This highlights what a farce and waste of resources this misguided arrangement is and that recovery of debts need to be transferred back in house where recovery personnel have access to the live up to date information about taxpayers."