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24 Aug 12 ATO Tax Practitioner Forum

Further to the information included in 2012 TaxVine No. 31 in relation to the ATO Tax Practitioner Forum meeting held on Friday 10 August 2012, the ATO has issued some key messages, which include:

  • ATPF Tips for Tax Practitioners:
  1. Reminder to check the front page of the Income Tax Return prior to rolling over. Common errors to be aware of are:
  • First name and surname mismatches (first name and surname in wrong order);
  • Address mismatch;
  • Date of birth mismatch;
  • Sex (wrong box ticked);
  • Agents attaching documents in the notes field.
  1. There is a planned Portal outage over the Australia Day Long weekend from 25 January 2013 at 9.30am AEST until 7.00am AEST 29 January 2013.
  2. Tax scams can be reported by calling 13 72 86 FKC 34 (for registered agents) or 1800 060 062 (for clients).
  3. Please ensure reasonable steps are taken to establish a client's identity, for example; photo ID and a check of basic client details on Portal.
  4. To support agents in meeting on time lodgment, the ATO will be providing a bulk client list cleanse service between August and November 2012. The next period of bulk client list cleanse service is expected between January/February to April 2013.
  5. The Tax Agent Services Guide (including a refresh of Fast Key Codes (FKC) has been published to
  • ATO Dispute Management Plan

Following a recommendation from the Commonwealth Attorney General that all government agencies develop a unique Dispute Management Plan, the ATO has developed a plan that aims to:

  • Increase the percentage of disputes being resolved at the earliest stage possible;
  • Decrease the cost of managing disputes;
  • Ensure all relevant ATO officers are skilled in the techniques and processes for dispute resolution;
  • Increase satisfaction with the dispute [process by both tax payers and tax professionals; and
  • Increase the number of people using dispute resolution processes such as negotiation, case conferencing, mediation and conciliation.
  • ATO's Future Service Delivery Model

The ATO is developing an online tool that will provide information on the services we currently provide and the vision for our services in the future, including mapping out the service improvements we are working on over time.

The online tool is designed to inform:

  • Individuals;
  • Businesses; and
  • Tax professionals.
  • Lodgement Program Framework

The new framework will allow us to better recognise that most registered tax agents and BAS agents (registered agents) are doing the right thing and to help those who continually fail to meet their lodgment program obligations on time.

The 2012-13 financial year is a transitional year that will allow us to work with registered agents to:

  • inform of current Lodgment Program performance;
  • understand any issues they may have in meeting the desired levels of performance or lodging obligations electronically.
From 1 July 2012 all newly registered agents will need to lodge obligations to be eligible for the Lodgment Program concessions.

From 1 July 2013, registered agents will need to lodge obligations electronically to enjoy the concessional due dates in the Lodgment Program. Registered agents will also need to meet an expected level of 'on time' Lodgment Program performance of 85%.

The new Lodgment Program framework  will initially involve registered tax agents and the following returns:
  • income tax returns (for all entity types); and
  • fringe benefits tax (FBT) annual returns.

The program will be expanded in later years to incorporate registered BAS agents and activity statement obligations.

Members who seek further information in relation to the above should contact us at TaxPolicy.

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