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22 Nov 2019 Closure of the ATO portal

MEMBER 303 writes again: 

Dear Editor, 

I refer to the ATO’s response (TaxVine 44, 15 November) to myself as Member 303. In para one, the ATO acknowledges that the tax/legal advisor may not be the legal personal representative (LPR). In fact, I will only accept this role for immediate family members. For arm’s length clients, I decline to do so. 

The concession offered in para two is only where the regular tax agent is the LPR, then the LPR can use the tax profession phone line. In my case, it is extremely rare that I am the LPR but I am the regular tax agent of the LPR. What the ATO appears to be saying is that my distressed 72 year old widow client must phone the general ATO number and try to explain that she is the LPR of the deceased. That will end in tears. Processing of the deceased DoD income tax return has already stalled because he is deceased. 

I am sorry that the ATO has decided that the tax profession has no legal rights (unless an LPR) with a deceased client. Until this is resolved, can the ATO give clear guidelines for the tax profession as to the most efficient method of processing a DoD return. The ATO has advised that by next May, I should be able to act on behalf of the LPR.   

Also, interestingly, the deceased added myGov to both his and his wife’s tax affairs. If the ATO’s ‘enquiries’ are directed through myGov, my client may not get her Centrelink payments until next May when I have access to the ATO. I am also sending this email to the ATO.

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