MEMBER 67 writes:
"We have noticed that since the introduction of the Change program, there all sorts of weird situations which are cropping up. It seems that the ATO computers have backdated outstanding and overdue tax returns to 2001. We have noted that a company may have outstanding tax returns from 2001 even though it may not have even been incorporated until some years later.
We have a client who has had a tax file number for many years (since late 1990s). This client has been a stay at home mum who has not been required to lodge a tax return until a return to work in 2009. She has lodged her 2009 and 2010 tax returns and received her refunds. No problem. Our client wants an ABN in order to start her own business. The ATO will not issue her with an ABN as they want proof of identity.
We have variously been told by ATO call centre that our client needs to lodge outstanding tax returns from 2001 to 2008 then the next call we are advised that the ATO needs POI and we query why because she has her TFN and lodges tax returns and we as tax agent have lodged her ABN application electronically.
The story from the ATO changes each time we phone so we put our complaint in writing and addressed the letter to a specific ATO officer. Guess What? The ATO computers have no record of the inward correspondence. If the ATO doesn't like correspondence it expunges them from the record.
Wake up ATO. Your systems stink even though the Commissioner thinks the surveys make you out to be good boys and girls. Sounds like the online survey forms have been fed through the ATO computer to give the Commissioner the answer he wants."