27 Jun 08 More on ATO debt collection and other mattersMEMBER 1 writes:
"Yes, it keeps coming. ATO rings to collect an outstanding debt of 80 cents – Yes, 80 cents. Checked it on the portal ourselves.
Matter Number 2: Now they ring up and say "We rang you on such and such a day. What are you doing about the debt?" Well we have passed the message on to the client but if they haven't got the money they cannot pay you. It is not our problem. The ATO seems to be able to send out information such as their warning letters about claims for expenditure and they manage to send the PAYG annual summaries directly to clients and yet they want tax agents to be their messengers for debt collection. Use the telephone directory. Don't call us because we won't call you. We are too busy trying to complete the lodgment program.
On that note we had our relationship manager pay a visit and quote our firm's lodgment statistics. I did ask - Is this benchmark related to our state or is it national? The reply - It is national. Thank you but we are in Queensland where all the public holidays are jammed into a 6 month period. By the way do these statistics include BAS and IAS lodgments. Oh! No! They only include tax returns.
Therefore the ATO statistics re lodgments are useless from a tax agent point of view. All tax returns in or all tax returns out but don't be selective.
In any event, what is the use as far as income tax returns is concerned? With PAYG instalments, it is all pay as you go so we are only tidying up the paperwork after the event. The quarterly BAS and IAS is where all the action is in tax collection."