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The ATO responds to an issue raised by MEMBER 53 in 2014 TaxVine No 16 (16 May 2014) about amended assessments including amounts from foreign sources.

“Thank you to Member 53 for raising concerns with one of our foreign source income cases. Upon our review of the case we identified a number of things we could have done differently that would have more quickly achieved the right outcome for Member 53’s client.

We are able to offer extensions of time in appropriate circumstances to enable further documentation to be sourced and provided. In this case documentation wasn’t provided in the timeframes discussed and an extension wasn’t requested. Having said that, we acknowledge we could have followed-up with Member 53 to check that the documentation would be forth coming.

We also have procedures where we can reverse amended assessments where we agree with subsequent information provided to us. This can enable us to make corrections without requiring an objection to be lodged. In this case we could have done a better job of communicating to Member 53 that this course of action was available. Our review highlighted that in this instance we should not have proceeded with the amended assessment for Member 53’s client and as such we have reversed the amended assessment and have advised Member 53 of this.

As a result of the issues identified we’ve reviewed our procedures to ensure they are appropriate. We’ve adjusted how we use data already available to us as part of our case selection processes and are reinforcing with our staff our intent to focus on getting the right outcome for the taxpayer as quickly as possible. We appreciate the feedback provided to assist us in providing better service to taxpayers and their agents.”

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