MEMBER 111 writes in response to Member 110's comments about threatening letters from the ATO in last week's TAXVINE - see 2014 TAXVINE No 28 (8 August 2014):
"I concur with Member 110 in relation to the very badly worded letter re overdue tax and BAS returns. For the ATO to threaten the use of the [Tax Practitioners] Board I think is completely inappropriate and unnecessary. I also believe that the [Tax Practitioners] Board should censure the ATO on its completely inappropriate use of its name.
To add insult, the information on the clients listed [in the letter] was incorrect, out of date and also had clients which had been removed from my list (lodged and validated) a number of years ago, or were [return] not necessary (lodged and validated).
The wording of this letter also shows complete ignorance of the real world. How could someone allow such 'dribble' to be issued?"
MEMBER 112 writes:
"I agree fully with Member 110's comments in the last issue of TAXVINE. The little advertisement on the right, saying 'Don’t let this happen to you', is boastful of a small business having to pay big fines for failure to lodge forms. No mention of the circumstances, or the future of the poor individuals or the Court where the penalty was imposed. Are they real?
Since when has it been appropriate in our culture and community ethics to threaten the smaller individuals and weak. My experience of over forty years is that non lodgment of forms is indicative of serious problems, of individuals struggling to cope with issues of divorce, death within the family, illness, loss of employment, depression and business failure. The form I received was based on information three weeks old. The income tax return had been lodged two weeks earlier.
As I write this email, no doubt a number of your other readers are reflective on the those business who are very literate internationals who have found reasons why they should not pay income tax. No bully letter for those guys, a discrete confidential agreement.
Keep your pages open, and please be mindful of confidentiality when dealing with the ATO. Comments sting."