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05 Sep 14 More on the stopping of paper forms

MEMBER 124 writes:

"I refer to the ATO's policy regarding the non-issuing of IAS forms when the BAS has been lodged by the tax agent.

We are now seeing clients that have not lodged or paid their July IAS because they have not received a form. This is placing an extra burden on the tax agent to electronically lodge for the client and also to keep track of the IAS lodgments.

I can see the merit in saving paper on the BAS returns but not the IAS which traditionally most clients can and do lodge themselves. I hope some sense prevails!"

TAX COUNSEL THILINI WICKRAMASURIYA COMMENTS: We have raised this issue with the ATO Tax Practitioner Advisory Group and are waiting on a response.

MEMBER 125 writes:

"We have always had paper BAS forms go directly to clients, it is their responsibility to have the form completed, even if we do it and lodge electronically. I understand some accounting firms take a different approach. 

For those of us that take a similar approach to ourselves then not having a paper BAS is detrimental:

- The client will not have the prompt to prepare the BAS, or get information to us

- I fully expect we will have to take on a compliance role of ensuring clients give us BAS info on time (an additional cost to us/client)

- We are going to have to (as best practice) print off the BAS form for at least the DIN and PAYG Instalment information

- We are going to have to print off a payment slip.

These costs and impacts are really noticeable where we do a large number of Body Corporate Activity Statements (AS), because someone in my office is going to have to spend about an hour printing off  all the AS and Payment Slips for these Body Corporates.  

It is clear for our practice we will have to absorb some of these costs, or pass them on.

Yes, it will save the ATO printing and postage (they could save it by being far more careful with what they send out in the first place, quite a bit of mail we get serves no purpose and we simply file it).

TAGs clearly should have had a choice, if it was going to save us money then we would take it up.  

Making this a compulsory initiative and referring to the ATO Tax Practitioner Advisory Group as the reason is an excuse, not a reason."