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24 Oct 14 Is this progress?

MEMBER 164 writes: 

"There was a time when all correspondence with the ATO was conducted by mail.

Then in the interest of greater efficiency the ATO started ringing the Agent to provide answers over the phone. It was considered quicker and more productive.

Then in order to also access this improved productivity Tax Agents started ringing the ATO and FKC access was provided for quick and effective responses.

Now some academic or politician (or both) has told the ATO that they are out of date and they should conduct more interactions electronically. The ATO has responded by reducing it services to Agents and now makes them correspond electronically. So now  rather than fixing issues with a quick efficient and effective phone call, we have to send an electronic request, wait weeks without a response and then ring and fix the issue with a phone call.

Is this how the ATO wants to improve its services to us valued Tax Agents?"

MEMBER 165 writes: 

"Tax agents are now no longer allowed access the ATO via the telephone lines and need to direct all communication to the Tax Agent Portal where response time is 28 days. 

Taxpayers, however, are allowed telephone contact as they do not have access to the tax agent portal services. How can this be allowed to happen – we should be treated with respect.  I thought we actually helped in the process of liaising between taxpayers and the ATO.

Now we are going to have hundreds of outstanding unresolved problems that will sit in limbo. Do you not think this style of service is disgusting?"