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15 Oct 10 More on being a public accountant

And MEMBER 312 responds to Member 299's comments about being saddened to read of constant complaints about the ATO in last week's TAXVINE - see 2010 TAXVINE No 41 (8 October 2010) - as follows:

"I do not know which world Member 299 lives in, but it is certainly not the world in which the ATO I deal with lives. They espouse 'client service standards'. But these standards are nowhere near what they used to be. I have been in practice only 20 years, but the decline in assistance from the ATO is dramatic. For me it started in 2002 when the quantity of ATO stationery provided was unilaterally halved overnight, with no recourse for appeal. From there, it has been downhill ever since.

Am I griping too much? For the first time in more than 30 years as a qualified Chartered Accountant, I am no longer enjoying going to work...and ALL because of the frustration of dealing with the ATO who, as Member 303 says, will not acknowledge the problem and deal with it. It is obviously all too hard for them, so we, the tax profession as a whole, must bear the weight of their short-sightedness.

Some will say I am being too harsh, maybe too simplistic. But I am sure there are many who agree. The sooner somebody in the ATO takes responsibility, finds somebody capable of resolving the issues and making the system work for all users, the better off we all will be. I think I am dreaming again!

Thankyou TAXVINE for the opportunity to air my frustration, and to see, through Member Feedback, that I am not alone. Keep up the good work."

MEMBER 313 writes:

"Well done to Member 299, in our Profession it has been very disheartening to think that we are only seen in the pessimistic light that all the recent comments have been.

Maybe like other things in Australia it is time for the SILENT MAJORITY to be heard and if we as a PROFESSION are seen as leaders with a bit of compassion instead of being seen as a complaining group like Members of Parliaments we can only grow.

I am sure we believe in the saying 'Negative thoughts create negative attitudes'. So let's see if we can look for the silver lining in the cloud instead of the dark spots.

Let's all send TAXVINE good experiences & speak up."

MEMBER 314 writes:

"Thankyou Member 299 for your kind words. I was surprised at how eloquent you were particularly with your tongue planted firmly in your cheek. Members 300 to 305 took a diametrically opposed position. I just want to let the ATO know that their management of systems and processes and the implementation of the "change" program are an absolute disaster.

MEMBER 315 writes:

"I have been in the tax profession for 50 years, a member of the Taxation Institute for 40 years, going from two state taxes State and Federal, decimal currency conversion, computerisation, the failed receipts tax, CGT, FBT, GST and so on.  Contrary to Member 301, I am aged 67, have enjoyed the challenge, still working 3 days a week and hope to continue for a few more years. Keep up the good work Taxation Institute."

MEMBER 316 writes:

"I think that the senior managers in the ATO believe everything that they are told by their underlings.

If what I have experienced this week is an intermittent technical problem on the Portal, I must be an idiot.

As for Member 299's positive comments - thank you - but perhaps you should read the profiles in the Tax Agent magazine wherein there is never a negative comment."

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