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MEMBER 10 writes:


"Just received a 'pay now or debt may be referred to debt collection agency' letter from the ATO for a client for the difference between her 2014 Annual PAYG Instalment and what we thought we varied it to back in October 2014.

It now has become evident that the Variation of the PAYG Instalment 'lodged' on 15 October 2014 wasn’t processed by the ATO. We didn’t notice that the Variation wasn’t processed – it appeared to be submitted as normal and no specific error messages issued at the time of submission. 

Looking at the variation which we saved in .pdf form on our system it shows 'This activity statement has been finalised and cannot be revised online'. 

This is crazy due to the following: 

  • The Annual PAYG Instalment wasn’t due for lodgment until 21 October 2014
  • No prior activity statement  had been submitted either by paper or online.
  • The variation was 'lodged' on 15 October 2014
  • The Portal details show that the Annual PAYG was processed on 26 October 2014. This would have been the normal default processing by the ATO after a few days grace period when nothing is lodged.

Surely the  ATO system should be able to work out whether or not an activity statement has been finalised or not (clearly wasn’t at the time of submitting the variation) and know that 15 October is BEFORE the due date of 21 October and BEFORE the processed date of 26 October?

More evidence that we can have no faith in the integrity and reliability of the ATO system."