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On 5 September 2012, Tax Counsel, Stephanie Caredes CTA attended a meeting with the ATO Tax Practitioner Forum (ATPF) to discuss Tax Time 2012. Following this meeting, the ATO has issued the following key messages:

Key messages from this meeting are:

  • Tax Time 2012 continues to run smoothly.
  • Approximately 6 million returns have been received.
  • The ATO has processed more returns than it had processed at the same time last year, with over 5.4 million returns already finalised.
  • There are approximately 800,000 returns on hand, the majority of which are within service standards.
  • We are servicing over 98% of electronic income tax returns within 12 working days.

From 1 July to 31 August 2012 ,we received 2,360,467 calls and achieved service levels of:

  • Tax practitioner calls – 92% of calls answered within two minutes, against a service standard of 90%;
  • General taxpayer calls – 88% of calls answered within five minutes, against a service standard of 80%.

During this period, the average wait time was 33 seconds for tax practitioner calls and 120 seconds for general taxpayer calls.

Weekly updates on tax time processing are published on the ATO website.

Tip: The due dates for 2012 were updated on Monday, 20 August 2012. You can check due dates for clients in the Tax Agent Portal or see the due dates in reports:

  • Income tax client list (ELS);
  • Due lodgment report (ELS);
  • Income tax lodgment status report (Tax Agent Portal).

Tip: You can register for the Due lodgment report (DLR) via the ELS. The reports scheduled to run on the 15 September 2012 will include details of your clients who are required to lodge by 31 October.

Tip: Where returns are not expected to be processed within 30 calendar days, the ATO will inform tax practitioners of the delay by emailing a weekly report listing the clients affected. The report will list:

  • client name;
  • your client reference (this is the name and/or number you assigned to the tax return file);
  • year of return;
  • type of return;
  • a reason code for delay.

The reason code should be cross referenced to an initial email sent to tax practitioners at the end of July with a description of the reason for delay. For more information about this process, see Report for delayed individual electronic tax returns over 30 days.

For information on contacting the ATO, refer to the Tax agent services guide.

If you require more information in relation to the above or you have come across any issues that should be reported to the ATO in relation to Tax Time 2012 lodgments, please contact us at Tax Policy.