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MEMBER 129 writes:

"The ATO has no procedures attached to this program to take out of the equation clients that have various issues and therefore a lodgment cannot be done, eg, deceased estates where no executor has yet been appointed and there are court procedures (I have one where six trusts are involved and two years of tax returns of an associated individual), clients in war zones overseas and have Australian income and foreign income, clients where mental illness is involved, and I have other clients with various and real issues as well. Slowly but surely I was left no option other than to take these clients off our listing.

I have spoken to the ATO twice trying to obtain their assistance. They agreed, I was left no option than to take various clients off our listing as we were unsure when resolutions will be brought about for whatever reason and allow us to complete the work and lodge the returns. The negative result from having to take a client off a tax agent's listing due to the ATO’s on time lodgment program will flow through to all taxpayers.

We are a small practice and the 85% rule leaves little room in regards to non lodgments. 

We would like the ATO to improve their lodgment program and not force agents to remove clients unnecessarily." 

TAX COUNSEL THILINI WICKRAMASURIYA COMMENTS: We are liaising with this member and will be raising these issues at the next meeting of the ATO Lodgment Working Group on 8 October 2014.