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MEMBER 48 writes:

"Having read last week's TAXVINE - see 2013 TAXVINE No 8 (15 March 2013) - and panicked about this 85% lodgment nonsense I rang the ATO. The performance is calculated only on current year returns, prior years do not count. So at the moment they are only looking at 2012 lodgments. My thoughts on this is – if a client has a 15 May or 5 June lodgment date then we don't add them to our list or lodge the return until 1 July when the year has rolled over. [TAXVINE COMMENT: Won't this expose the client to potential penalties for late lodgment?] It's more complicated with 31 October due dates which is what happens when you have a client with multiple returns – my suggestion there is do all the prior years, lodge them and then remove the client from your list, explain to the client that they should get their 2013 years returns ready early and lodge 2012 and 2013 prior to the October deadline. Obviously you also need to explain how the ATO is punishing us, the agents, for the clients' poor lodgment history and advise them to ring the ATO and complain. Also on the day prior to the lodgment date we will be deleting any clients with current year outstanding returns and then re adding them in July.

Again, more short sighted policy that assists no one. The Kiwis have already been dealing with something similar and worked out the same workarounds."

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