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MEMBER 187 writes:

"I am Member 181 from last week’s edition of TAXVINE - 2010 TAXVINE No 25 - and I continue my rant.

Clients of mine, a husband and wife, both had income tax payable due to a large capital gain on the sale of a property. We  lodged their June 2009 returns on 31 May 2010, provided them with payment slips, and I advised them that the taxes  payable were due on 6 June 2010. They advised that they could pay one amount but not the other.

The assessments arrive today and they show as due dates 12 July 2010!! I am bracing myself for an abusive phone call  from them along the lines of "Why did you advise us that the due date was 6 June 2010, when clearly we could have had  another 5 weeks to pay!?"

Seriously, I now risk losing these clients because they simply will not believe me. I am livid with you ATO, you continue to  change the rules at your end without a single word of communication.

Could SOMEONE from the ATO or the Tax Institute please put me out of my misery and educate me on the errors of my  ways, and explain to me why we have due dates of 15 May, 6 June, 12 June, 21 June and now a payable date of 12 July??  I have read every ATO email, blog, Tax Agent Magazine, searched the ATO website (which is a joke, but that’s another  story), and I cannot find a thing."

MEMBER 188 writes:

"It’s all wearing a bit thin isn’t it? Of what - 5000+ agents in Oz – the majority have accepted that the ATO have had a huge change to their system and have allowed them a little leeway. We would expect the same from the ATO if we have natural disasters, deaths of agents or maybe even computer upgrades? Personally, I am doubtful whether the last excuse would cut it.

So my approach has been to my clients, yes, the ATO is having problems, let’s just give them the benefit and try to work with them while they try to sort it out, yes I know you are being disadvantaged but we will try to work with them.

So I really don’t want to be taken unprepared (i.e. not in my office) with an assessment which issues on 11 June and is due 3 days before issue – viz. 8 June. Yes, we will pay any interest or object to same. No I am sure that your return would have been lodged by the due date – but possibly by the extended date and that is why the ATO computer couldn’t cope with it. Cover the ATO’s backside.

Facts – when I get back to the office:
Lodged and verified 24th April. Last time I looked within standard arrangements for the past 10+ years so no different circumstances  there.
Assessment – printed 11th June.
Due date 8th June.

My God – Please tell me how you can do this ATO – let me keep my bank manager happy! I, in my ignorance, thought there were laws which prevented me from demanding money before I had billed it.

ATO – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. The above is ridiculous and add it together with the phone calls that we are receiving from FTB annual recipients who are being told that you have not communicated assessment details so that payments can be properly paid.

ATO – I’VE HAD ENOUGH. Your computer wanted a holiday for 6 months and we have all been very understanding of the fact. I hope you will understand that a lot of agents NOW need a holiday for 6 months and that you will be just as understanding.

A written response to our association would be a start."

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