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MEMBER 171 writes:

"Again I have wasted 30 minutes and no doubt there will be more due to the ATO's you bewt computer system.

My client lodged his 2011 tax return, fourth quarter BAS and Annual BAS (yes, they were late). There was a PAYG(I) amount on the fourth quarter BAS. The annual BAS was a debit, the tax return was debit. The client paid the fourth quarter BAS. Naturally the ATO processed the tax return and the client duly paid the debit amount. BUT two weeks later the PAYG(I) was refunded by cheque and of course that amount was factored into the payment for the annual BAS and if the ATO had retained the amount then the accounts would all be zero.

BUT due to the issue of the cheque, the client has to negotiate the cheque, repay the amount to the ATO, we have to explain what occurred to our incredulous client and now we will have to seek remission of late payment penalties. I thought that the ATO did not release refunds until all outstanding lodgment for current year (viz. 2011 in this case) had been finalised. What a waste of time for the ATO, the client, us and the bank to process, and the post office to send all the mail.

For heaven's sake, ATO - get it together.

PS. I know I could probably make a claim for ATO inefficiency but in cases like this it is more trouble than they are worth - perhaps The Tax Institute could keep a scorecard of these ATO 'time wasters' - it could be graded on the amount of time involved or degree of difficulty a la the Olympics!"

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