28 May 10 ATO's Tax Practitioner Forum (ATPF)
Angie Ananda FTIA also attended the ATPF meeting last Friday 21 May 2010. Below is a short summary of the significant issues discussed at that meeting.
At the meeting the Change Program was discussed at length. The main focus was on what can be learned from the implementation process and how improvements can be made in the future.
Lodgment extensions were also discussed. Consistent with the release by the ATO last week, the ATO granted an extension for monthly activity statements as a result of the Portal disruptions over the weekend before last (15/16th May). The Institute expressed its dissatisfaction with the length of the extension and the fact that it only applies to lodgment and not payment. Unfortunately, the ATO indicated that its position in relation to the extension was not negotiable due to internal constraints.
The professional bodies have been requesting the ATO to produce an Issues Log in relation to all the issues related to the Change Program. his will be available on the ATO website and will give all agents access to information regarding the status of all issues relating to the Change Program. The issues log will hopefully save agents time in comparison to calling the ATO to find out the status of various issues. We expect the Issues Log to be available this week or early next week.
The ATO have confirmed that some improvements to the Notice of Assessments and Statement of Accounts will be implemented as part of Tax Time 2010. However, improvements will be done in tranches so not all the issues raised by the professional associations and tax agents will be addressed straight away. More comprehensive changes will be made in December 2010.