MEMBER 95 writes:
“This morning I was also surprised that I could be anyone making a request of the ATO and that more detail had to be provided to pass the POI. After advising that I did not possess any pieces of relevant paper, the very pleasant officer conceded that I only needed an Assessment Number. This was quickly provided.
No, she still could not talk to me as the ATO computer did not record that detail. It had lodgment date and amount of refund but no Assessment Number. I offered that data but, no, we would require a Job and Sequence from an earlier year.
In reality, not even my client would know the date of lodgment! This should have satisfied POI.
Interestingly, the Assessment Number missing from the ATO computer was issued in that period of change in 2010 which is supposedly behind us.”
The Tax Institute’s Tax Counsel DEEPTI PATON responds:
As noted last week in TaxVine Issue 21, members of the ATPF were briefed on the ATO’s new POI procedures, which were triggered by concerns about the security of taxpayers' and agents' information. We understand that these new procedures are may result in some inconvenience to tax agents, and we stressed that security concerns must be balanced against such inconvenience to agents. The ATPF members have suggested some amendments to the POI criterion to make ease the compliance imposition on agents. We hope that the ATO will take up our suggestions.
It has been brought to our attention by a number of members that some ATO call centre operators do not appear to be fully aware of the new POI requirements. If you encounter such an officer, we recommend that you ask for their team name/location, and report it to email@example.com. We can then bring this to the ATO’s attention.