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This week, The Tax Institute submitted agenda items to the ATO Tax Practitioners Forum (ATPF) on behalf of the Professional Bodies and practitioner members.

Our agenda items included:

Refund integrity checks - we are seeking some information on the scope of the checks, the common errors identified and adjustments that have been made to date, and the impact on taxpayers/agents. We are also seeking some statistics on how the program has fared to date.

Tips for TaxTime - we are seeking further "tips and tricks" for the smooth passage of tax returns through the ATO's system. The Professional Bodies assisted the ATO with the development of the 2011 document, and we would like to expand the program for the 2012 TaxTime season.

Adjustments to returns following data matching exercises - we are seeking a discussion about the ATO’s procedures following the identification of possible errors in a return as a result of a data-matching exercise. Our aim is to ensure that responding to data-matching concerns is simple and efficient for agents.

Application of FITOs against Medicare Levy liability - as reported in a recent edition of TaxVine, the Professional Bodies identified that the ATO was incorrectly disallowing some FITOs against certain Medicare Levy liabilities. We are seeking information on how many taxpayers/agents are affected, what standard procedures/auto-amendments are contemplated, and information on what system modifications have occurred to make sure this problem does not arise in future income years.

Tax Agent Portal functionality - this is an ongoing topic of discussion. We are encouraging the ATO to develop systems to promptly alert agents to system issues, and are seeking involvement in developing this process.

These agenda items will be discussed at the ATPF meeting on 4 November 2011. If you would like further information about the agenda items that we have submitted, please contact us at TaxPolicy.

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