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09 Nov 2018 Mystery of non-existent activity statements

MEMBER 365 writes: 

Hi TaxVine, 

I was reviewing the Member Feedback section this morning for Member 231’s comments below (extracted for your reference) from TaxVine 25 (6 July 2018).  

Mystery of non-existent activity statements 


MEMBER 231 writes: 


For a handful of clients, we have not been receiving activity statements – IAS's in particular. These were not posted, nor received electronically, nor listed in any report available from the ATO. The ATO has confirmed that there is no way my clients nor myself can know that an activity statement has been issued.  

Two weeks after the due date, the threatening letter stated ‘Pay your debt or be referred to a Collection Agency'. These are not habitual late payers or lodgers. They were not even offered the courtesy of an ‘Overdue reminder'. 

For reasons unknown, the ATO has unilaterally, and without warning, changed their ‘Client Preference' to 'Portal/ECI'. This means no notification of any sort about the existence of an Activity Statement. To amend 'Portal/ECI' to ELS/Postal requires a phone call to the ATO.  

My upset client has responded ‘I don't know why they don't err on the side of over-communicating, especially for something as important as this.' 

We are wary of the simplified GST reporting arrangements from 1 July 2018, however, there are missing IASes for clients on our list prior to this date. Usually we are provided with an ATO paper listing but there has not been a listing provided by the ATO to-date. We do not mind if it is electronic communications going forward, however, not even an e-mail listing has been provided. 

We have discovered three serious issues: 

  1. We have not received IASes either postal/ECI/electronic notifications for some clients. We will have to refer to previous paper listings to manually check on the Tax Agent Potal. 
  2. I would call this the PAYG income tax instalment blackhole discovery:

(a) For an individual client, we lodged the 2018 return already in October 2018 and received the Notice of Assessment (NOA).  Now, we have received from the ATO, a request for PAYG income tax instalments (2) to be paid for the period 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2017. The NOA did not include these PAYG income tax instalments. A “wash up” eventually was required after speaking to three ATO officers.

(b) Similar to Member 231 below, one client did not receive prior PAYG income tax instalments and was required to pay nearing 2 years’ worth.

3. Our postal address has not changed, yet, the ATO systems for other clients on our IAS/PAYG income tax instalments listing have had messages to say “undeliverable.”

Tax Institute: can you confirm if there is similar feedback from members who manage client IAS/PAYG income tax instalments? Are there ATO system issues?


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