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09 May 14 More on ATO stupidity

MEMBER 49 writes:

“To Member 48 - see 2014 TaxVine No 13 (2 May 2014) - we feel your pain!

We recently had an ATO audit request for a SMSF. As part of the audit the ATO requested financial information, bank statements, general ledgers/journals etc for 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12. Interesting request since the fund wasn’t established until 04/05/11. Probably a typo, but doesn’t the ATO check their requests before sending them?

On another occasion, I had to get involved for my dad. He always lodges his own paper return. He entered $20,000 income at one of the labels. Subsequently he gets a tax assessment confirming his income at $2M+ and a tax bill associated with this. Then he is enrolled in the PAYG system and receives an activity statement based on the $2M income! He called the ATO six times and nothing was fixed. He then gets a demand for payment for the outstanding PAYG instalment and that it will be passed to debt collectors. He calls again and is put on a payment plan to stop the demand system. Eventually after several months, the involvement of myself and also our local member of parliament, the situation was resolved. We even got an apology letter from the Commissioner (probably his underling)! When we eventually received a copy of the paper return from the ATO that dad had lodged, sure enough the figure he had entered was only $20,000, even more so, the field didn’t have enough boxes to even enter $2,000,000. So what are the ATO’s systems like if such errors occur? Even more worrying is the total waste of everyone’s time and stress on my 82-year old father, when all the lazy sods at the ATO had to do was look at the paper return, which they had!

It’s great reading TaxVine every week and it’s always reassuring to see it’s not just me thinking the ATO has totally lost the plot somewhere along the way!”

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