"I can only add to the voices of horror that has seen the ATO notice of assessment go from one simple page to four. OK, the former page had symbols for the A, O, G, L, M etc which we tax agents could understand if not the client, but now it is a 5 minute dialogue to absorb ourselves. Non accountants can't possibly be expected to understand what it means.
A big new bugbear is the colour of refund cheques with the new and enhanced format. They are now a pale blue and do not stand out from the notice. I've already had a staff member file the refund cheque because they thought it looked 'more like a gift voucher' - come spend some money with the ATO and you can have the second purchase for less next year.
Why can't the ATO also EFT refunds for C, T, and F returns like the I return to a nominated bank account if the details are included with the return? Clients can still then choose to opt out?"
MEMBER 38 writes:
"The wonderful (not) new 2009 Assessment Notices issuing to taxpayers aged 55 or more with net income from working in excess of $62,999 include other information relevant to your assessment on page 3 of the assessment notice stating "You claimed the mature age worker tax offset on your return, but we have disallowed your claim because your net income from working is too high for you to be eligible for the offset."
Could someone please explain where one can claim a mature age worker offset on a tax return? The offset is not claimed, just automatically allowed if the taxpayer meets the prescribed criteria. The ATO statement suggests incompetence on the part of the tax practitioner claiming a tax offset for which the taxpayer has no entitlement. Tax practitioners of course know where the incompetence lies but unfortunately our clients' don't."
MEMBER 39 writes:
"Memo to the genius who invented the 6 page special - Please advise all banks and other financial institutions who request a copy of the tax assessment (ie the one that used to have a blue border and took up one page) that the assessment notice has now changed so any applicant for any loan or credit card will not be refused credit because the banks cannot decipher your new assessment notice."
MEMBER 40 writes:
"We have just received a statement of account for a superannuation fund after lodging the 2009 tax return. The due date for lodgment and payment per our lodgment list was 17/5/10. The statement of account shows that the 2009 debt is overdue (but nowhere does it indicate a due date) and it shows GIC has been charged, and then reversed because it is a small amount. It shows GIC will continue to be charged until the debt is paid because it is overdue. I wonder how many more company or superannuation fund notices will come through showing the debt overdue, when they are actually not due until 17/5/10, and how much angst it will cause us trying to explain to clients that it is not really overdue (and we haven't been slack in lodging late) and the GIC may eventually disappear.
I hope the right people within the assessment design team of the ATO get to read all the Members comments about the problems caused by this revolutionary new system."
MEMBER 41 writes:
"PLEASE, can we urgently go back to the old tax assessments?
Our costs of handling the new system have more than doubled. We are now receiving in separate envelopes, Income Tax account notices and separate other related correspondence. The following day (or two) we receive the Notice of Assessment.
This cost in extra mailing from the ATO must be horrendous. Our costs are double handling a significant increase in ATO mail. ALL FOR NO AVAIL!
Please stop this stupidity. The email letter from David Butler Second Commissioner, last week, was, frankly an insult to Tax Agents and professional accountants."
MEMBER 42 writes:
"After the superb administration and roll out of the new tax assessment notices, the Rudd Government (and the Canberra bureaucracy) want to take over control of our hospitals. God help us all."