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MEMBER 195 writes:

"Re Member 184 about elderly clients and the ATO's response - see 2014 TAXVINE No 44 (28 November 2014) – the ATO is forcing the entire community to go on line which must surely be a retrograde step and lead yet to even more heavy handed action by the ATO.

Recently, a client sold their business and cancelled their PAYGW registration. Several months later they realised that there was a need to employ a casual person. The business was formerly a medium remitter and they reregistered as a small remitter – declaring approximately $1,000 in PAYGW annually.

Naturally, the ATO reregistered them as a medium remitter and on a monthly cycle. I called the ATO as requested in their letter to the client and tried to have the status changed. The ATO client services officer said this could not be done by telephone and I had to complete a request online.

The painful part of the process is that I followed the ATO’s written communication and was then told to go online. Of course I am still waiting for the resolution.

Yet another waste of time to what was originally a straight forward application (ATO obviously did not act on the information provided in the application) and the ATO would not act in accordance with their own advice in their official letter reregistering the client for PAYGW to have any matters resolved by telephoning the ATO on the supplied number and forced the client to go online.

This is yet another example of how SBR and the online push by the ATO will affect not only the elderly but all clients who do not wish to interact with the ATO (and other agencies) via a computer. I practice in an area where mobile service does not work and land lines are a must. In order to interact with the online world, extra costs are incurred and clients do not want to use their data costs etcetera to communicate with the ATO – not even one cent!

The ATO should provide a 'manual' service, that is, communications by letter to and from the taxpaying community who they are supposed to be servicing not requesting the 'elderly' to register via a 13 number."