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10 Dec 10 More on frustrations dealing with the ATO

MEMBER 363 writes:

"Thank you Member 358 (aka Mr Commissioner) for your input [see Member 358's comments in last week's TAXVINE, 2010 TAXVINE No 49 (3 December)]. But if you're not really the Commissioner (query - who else would implore us to "put up or shut up"!!) I am greatly impressed with your fresh and youthful approach to your new calling. I hope your enthusiasm continues well beyond your days in "nappies" and after you have had a few years of frustrations under your belt dealing with the incompetence of the ATO. It will be interesting to see if you still have the same outlook after some lost weekends and holiday time having to deal with unnecessary paperwork brought to you courtesy of the ATO.

One can only admire you for "putting up with numerous administration bungles by the ATO" and saying that "it's the system". Yes. It's supposed to be a SYSTEM - BUT IT'S BROKEN!!

Hopefully the new generation of agents (ones not on happy pills) will continue the good fight and make it clear to Government and the tax administrators that the ATO's administration is not up to scratch and that much work is still required to eliminate inefficiencies and do away with unnecessary duplication and red tape.

MEMBER 364 writes:

"I am an avid reader of VineFeedback each week and it has been blatantly obvious to every reader that the practitioners in the field are totally peeved with ATO and their new computer system and moronic stupidity. From the withholding of refunds over $10,000 to the idiotic letters re benchmarks to the threats of garnishee of monies for BAS which are less than one week old to the issue of default assessments due by 13th January 2011, it starts to smell like the government is or has run out of money and is now playing catch up.

Well Mr Wayne Swan and Mr Bill Shorten remember that 80% of the businesses out there are SMEs and they vote and they don't like what you are doing to them. They did not cause the GFC. That belongs to you politicians and big banks and your failure to enforce the rules pre existing. If you had done so then Storm Financial et al would have been short circuited and you would not be guaranteeing the whole of Australia's annual GDP as a bank guarantee mainly for the Big Four banks who have collectively just announced record profits.

In the meantime you have these boffins at the ATO doing U turns to generate more revenue. How did you even allow Michael Anstis as an ATO employee to run the case Anstis vs FCT? You have now potentially created a $360 million black hole when the High Court and ATO should have been better utilising its time. And please don't tell us it was in the public interest as we accountants at the coalface have been telling Youth Allowance clients that it just can't happen.

Thanks for now including non taxable allocated pensions etc in the calculation of various rebates. The senior citizens are now being reminded of just what a mean bunch you really are so don't forget them at the next election as they won't forget you particularly if you think that you are going to get one of those lifetime pensions with travel perks.

We accountants are not too fussed about ATO bullyboy tactics re GST audits where they want the information within 48 hours of their phone call but then take months to finalise such audits with no adjustment. If you phone the ATO to find out how they are progressing, all you get is a recorded message because the employee is on study leave, sick leave, RDO, in training or just decided not to come to work today leave."

MEMBER 365 writes:

"I was very annoyed when I recently received my first PAYG Instalment notice (for me personally) - and not necessarily due to the tax I need to pay. My annoyance was at the address the mail was sent to. About 5 years ago I had an ABN and was registered for GST. Since then I have cancelled my ABN & GST registration, and moved home around 3 times. As a tax agent, I have always made sure my income tax returns had my correct home address, with the postal address being my practice address. I had never thought to look up the address on any other registrations as they were not relevant and had been cancelled.

As the PAYG Instalment is BAS related, the Activity Statement Role has been reopened (obviously without my knowledge) and the mail sent to the address from 5 years ago - which happens to be my ex husband's address. If he had not passed the mail onto me, I would not have found out until I had late lodgment penalties and interest applied. In my opinion, PAYG Instalment is Income Tax related and should certainly not be linked to a role cancelled many years ago.

I would just like to make other Members aware of this and perhaps they should check the records of clients who have moved to make sure ALL addresses are changed - even if the role may have been cancelled long ago. A little more work for us to do!!!"

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