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21 May 10 More on Portal maintenance

MEMBER 146 writes:

"No doubt, like me, there are hundreds of accountants who are spending their weekend desperately trying to complete & lodge company & super fund returns by the due date. Even the ATO must be aware that this is the most chaotic time for anyone in the tax industry. So what do they do? Yep…they schedule Portal maintenance for the WHOLE WEEKEND!!

What a piece of utter stupidity!! Oh, of course they send an email on Thursday to let us know but who has the time to read half of the babble they continually send out anyway? But this really plumbs new depths for an organization that has, over the past few months, already had a pretty appalling record. Talk about treating tax agents with contempt!!"

MEMBER 147 writes:

"Have been trying to use the Portal but very slow and keeps bombing out. Tried to call the ATO but after getting through to the Help desk I was referred to a different section with the phone message saying that there were delays and please wait for 16 minutes - it has already taken me ½ hour to get this far – presumably the conversion to AUSKey on the weekend did not go well – another mess?"

MEMBER 148 writes:

"For how long do we have to suffer the incompetency of the ATO? A very late notification of Portal maintenance said the Portal would be ‘up’ by 6.00am Sunday morning. And here it is after 2.00pm Tuesday and it is still not working. And all we get is ‘sorry for the inconvenience’!!

When we can actually use the system, why is it that the details ‘fall off’?? I added a new client on 11 May and printed the transaction completed sheet. Further information from the client led me, today 18 May, to attempt to print the Pre-Filling Report 2007. The message was “you are not authorised to view this TFN” Beg pardon. I loaded the client a week ago!! As the Portal was not operative, I telephoned and waited 25 minutes to speak to a customer service operator, who could not access the Portal either. Where she looked I don’t know, but I was informed my tax agent details had ‘fallen off’ and I needed to reload the client.  But the Portal is not operative!!

So much administration time has been caused by the poor performance of the ATO, and the best they can do is apologise for the inconvenience. If I wasn’t such a gentleman(!) I would refuse to lodge forms timely, and offer only my apology. I wonder what response that would bring from the ATO??

Many thanks to the people who compile TAXVINE, as it lightens the end of my week to know there are many other accountants and tax agents in the same boat of frustration as I find myself. Cheers to you all.

TAXVINE COMMENT: Thanks Member 148, we are glad to know that you enjoy TAXVINE. And, we'll let you into a secret - there is only one of us (but we are pedalling furiously!)

MEMBER 149 writes:

"It is 11am in Perth on the lodgment program end date for companies and super funds. This morning we have had no access to the Tax Agent Portal, presumably because the ATO saw fit to undertake maintenance on the Portal over the weekend.  It defies belief that they would choose the final weekend of the lodgment program to change the login protocols for the Portal.

Furthermore, the ELS gateways are currently down. We have been told to “wait a few hours and try again”.  

I can’t express strongly enough how disenchanted our practice is with the constant ATO system problems experienced this year. These latest issues just cap off an ongoing saga of ineptitude. We have spent hours as agents dealing with the fallout – it is not good enough and someone needs to be held accountable."

MEMBER 150 writes:

"You have to be kidding! I don’t understand when there is a lodgement deadline for 15 May and 17 May that the ATO is closing the Portal for the weekend that includes the 15th and is before Monday 17th.This is obviously someone's idea of a joke. The Portal closed at the time lodgements are due. First the ATO stuff up their upgrade big time (& roll out the excuses, all except incompetence) & now they close the Portal. Obviously since no one at the ATO works weekends, they think no one else does either.

Can the Taxation Institute please convey the displeasure of tax agents in the strongest terms to their actions? "

MEMBER 151 writes:

"Just another day at the grind stone and yet another day of coping with the stuff up that is the ATO. How are we supposed to run our businesses when we can’t even do simple every day tasks because the Portal has an issue which the ATO is attending to swiftly!

I would hate to see the ATO trying to compete in the real world!"

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