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On Tuesday 19 August 2014, Tax Counsel Thilini Wickramasuriya ATI attended a meeting of the ATO Tax Practitioner Advisory Group to discuss issues arising during Tax Time 2014. 

The main points discussed in this week’s meeting were:

Incorrect health fund pre-fill data has resulted in the ATO having to correct some returns lodged prior to issuing assessments. Tax agents who have been impacted by this have been contacted by the ATO. The correct pre-fill data has now been received by the ATO. 

Recent problems with using image viewer in the Tax Agent Portal are being fixed by the ATO this week. 

ATO is continuing to shift tax agents from changing details over the telephone to using self-help options in the Tax Agent Portal and the Electronic Lodgment Service.

Second phase of letters regarding dividend washing are about to be issued by the ATO. These are follow up letters from those issued in March 2014. Some are being issued directly to clients and others to tax agents. Further details are available on the ATO website. 

There have been issues with taxpayers updating bank account details for refunds. The ATO is particularly concerned with taxpayers updating these details to receive a refund directly after having a tax agent lodge their return. In this case the refund should be received into the tax agent’s trust account rather than the client directly. The ATO is trying to gauge the scope of this problem. Any tax agents experiencing similar issues should contact us at Tax Policy

Pre-fill data on dividends and some health funds is still not available. 

The key messages from the meeting as circulated by the ATO should be available via the link below shortly.

Members seeking further informaiton in relation to the above or any other issues relating to Tax Time 2014 should contact us at Tax Policy.