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19 Dec 14 More on making the elderly (and others) go online - the ATO responds

In 2014 TAXVINE No 45 (5 December 2014), Member 195 wrote:

"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."



"When Member 195’s client’s withholding role was re-activated, their withholding cycle was determined by their previous level of withholding in accordance with the relevant law. Member 195’s client was made a ‘medium withholder’. 

Clients whose level of withholding has permanently reduced, may request a downgrade to their withholding cycle, in this instance from a medium withholder to a small withholder. All requests for downgrade must be made in writing, giving detailed reasons to support the request. The request can be sent to: Australian Taxation Office, PO Box 3373, PENRITH NSW 2740. As an alternative, a tax agent may send the request through the Tax Agents’ Portal. 

We acknowledge that the letter sent to Member 195’s client suggested that clients not happy with the registration decision could contact us by telephone. However, in cases such as this one where the change to cycle requested is a downgrade we were unable to change the cycle based on a telephone conversation.

Comprehensive information is available on the ATO website on PAYG withholding cycle changes, including requests for downgrades, here

We note there is no requirement for clients to go online to request a change in withholding cycle. Clients wanting an upgrade to their withholding cycle, that is to pay more frequently, can phone the ATO on 13 28 66. Clients wanting to downgrade their withholding cycle must do so in writing, as described above."