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17 May 2019 ATO strikes again

MEMBER 118 writes: 

A colleague asked me to relay this story. Just when I think that there is nothing left that the ATO could do to surprise me, they lob another "Please explain/ what the" in from left field. 

During the week ended 10 May 2019, I received three ATO 2018 excess non-concessional superannuation contribution letters dated 13 February 2019, nearly three months earlier. As I haven't noticed any mail delays, I had a look on the ATO portal and the date sent for all three letters was during the week ended 10 May 2019. All letters stated that the total superannuation contributions made were non-concessional. 2018 tax returns had not been lodged for any of these taxpayers at the date of the letters, being 19 February 2019. How did the ATO make the decision that all contributions were non-concessional - ESP? 

In all three cases, the excess non-concessional contributions are, in fact, concessional contributions and neither the non-concessional nor concessional contribution caps have been exceeded. The ATO letters also state that if Option 1 or Option 2 is not selected by a date in April 2019, the ATO will ask the taxpayers highest reported balance superannuation fund to release funds and amend the taxpayer's 2018 income tax assessment. 

I rang the ATO on receipt of the first letter (yes, more fool me) and achieved absolutely nothing. The ATO normally issues these letters after they have processed the taxpayer's tax return. 

Perhaps the ATO can use ESP and tell us who is going to win the election on Saturday. 

On another note, the majority of messages I have sent via portal messages have not been acknowledged nor actioned. I assume they have fallen into a large portal never to be seen again. 

I have heard Colin Walker on ATO webcasts state that they are here to help tax agents. To Colin, I say, actions speak louder than words. 

Tax Counsel Stephanie Caredes comments: Members who find themselves in situations like this should contact the ATO’s Complex Issues Resolution Service for assistance (which Colin Walker has mentioned on many occasions during presentations to agents). Through this service, the ATO will be able to work with agents with difficult matters to find a solution.


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