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13 Feb 14 More ATO useful communication - NOT

MEMBER 12 writes:

"We received a letter from the ATO on behalf of a client. It was headed in bold and large typeface: 'You may have a car fringe benefits tax liability'. The first sentence reads: 'We are writing as you appear to have recently purchased a car in your business name'.

My client sold his business and, as part of the sale, he had to transfer the original company name to the purchaser. He advised the relevant transport authority re the change of company name. The next communication he received was this letter from the ATO with 'may' and 'appears' with no facts considered. The company name only changed, no change of ABN, ACN, motor vehicle VIN number etc. It was a transfer not a purchase. This is a useless communication, it is not based on facts, raises angst in the client and leads to the worsening relationship between tax agents and the ATO as it us who have to spend time on it and to explain to clients as to the ridiculousness of the ATO in sending the letter at all.

I should also mention that I see little point on receiving sms alerts on Xmas day that the Tax Portal is down and the number of times we receive duplicate communications from the ATO via email. The Tax Professionals newsletter, issue 4/2014 was emailed twice, why?"