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MEMBER 225 writes:

"Regarding Member 223 in last week's TAXVINE - see 2012 TAXVINE No 44 (16 November 2012).

In relation to Bar Codes being incorrect on payment slips for the period 1/4/2012 - 30/6/2012 and Annual IAS. We did read a message from the ATO advising that they had contacted Australia Post and that they had agreed to have their staff check the ABN against the Bar Code and if incorrect then manually override the Bar Code. I spoke with our local Post Office - in a small country town and they contacted their head office in another larger country town. Now Head Office told them that it didn't apply to this area and that under no circumstances were they to override Bar Codes. I showed the ATO email to my local Post Office and they subsequently DID override many payment slips that they found incorrect.

Again a case of the ATO attempting to get other people in private enterprises to do their work for them. Now I found one of my clients did not receive a credit for their last IAS Payment and had received a letter from the ATO advising them that if this amount was not paid then their debt would be referred to a Debt Collection agency. I found out that this client had paid their IAS with the payment slip but at another country town Post Office. I then tried to sort out the matter with the ATO.  I was actually told by an ATO Officer that if the matter was not sorted within 30 days then I would need to contact the ATO again to request a payment arrangement for this debt which they had already paid?????

Subsequently after a few attempts I finally got onto to someone in the ATO who knew about the problem and he advised me that the matter would be sorted out within 30 days. I asked this ATO Officer why did the ATO simply not reprint the Payment Slips as they knew about the problem quite early and they would have had time to do a reprint. I suggested to this ATO officer that maybe the reason why this was not done because it would cost the ATO and that they would rather 'duck shove' the issue onto anyone else rather than themselves. The ATO officer just laughed and said that I was probably correct."

THE TAX INSTITUTE'S TAX COUNSEL, STEPHANIE CAREDES, COMMENTS: "In response to the issues raised by Members 223 and 225, the issue with incorrect barcodes being printed on Activity Statements was first raised in July this year. The ATO advised that if payments must be made through Australia Post and cannot be made any other way, Australia Post staff will need to key in EFT codes manually. The EFT code is correct, but the barcode printed on the statement has the error in it. Please see the link to the ATO website which concerns this issue with incorrect barcodes on Activity Statements."

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