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MEMBER 218 writes:

"Is it just me getting old and crotchety or are people just not doing their jobs properly?

Received a letter from the ATO last week regarding a client's claims for tax deductions in his tax return. The letter stated that the ATO regarded the claims as 'wrong' and requested verification. We provided all documentary evidence of the claims which were correctly allowable. Upon what basis does the ATO regard claims as 'wrong'? We are tax agents and we have a fair idea of what deductions are wrong or right.

Also rang up to have an ABN matter attended to, which used to be done over the phone. Can't do that any more, it must now be referred. I stated that it was fairly urgent and was quoted the usual 28 days service standard. Another call a couple of days later with the same result. Well the service standard came and went. Another call to ATO and was assured someone would fix it in the next few days. That didn't happen either. Finally a call to the complaints area and the problem was fixed within an hour. All credit to the complaints staff, but if it could be fixed so easily, why wasn't it fixed before?

And don't get me started on the ATO website. I wanted to search for 2 rulings. Put in the ruling numbers into the search box and no documents found. I tried 4 times before giving up and going to another reference source which came up with the correct results every time. The ATO seems to be going backwards and we agents seem to be wasting more time resulting from their mistakes. When will someone in the public service be accountable?"