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30 Mar 12 New ATO initiative to reduce their workflow

MEMBER 69 writes:

"Recently I received an original assessment for a 2009 tax return which had been lodged in April 2010. Of course it was accompanied by a late lodgment penalty, never mind that the ATO have taken 23 months to issue the assessment. However that is not my gripe. 

There was an adjustment to "correct an arithmetic error or an error in calculation". No further explanation. However it appears that the ATO have disallowed a primary production loss even though the assessable income test in Section 35-30 was satisfied. This should have been clear from the gross income from primary production shown at P8. However that is not my gripe.

Rising blood pressure at the realisation that I am going to have to lodge an objection to get the ATO to correct yet another adjustment which should never have been made.

Wait a minute, what is this? We know that the ATO have difficulties meeting those much vaunted KPIs, now it looks as if they have found a simple way to reduce the workflow. A quick review of the assessment followed by a much closer examination reveals that the only way to contact the ATO is to ring a 13 number and wait for half an hour or more in the hope that someone at the other end might pick up the phone. That is, there is no address for the ATO on the assessment. This is going to make it a challenge to comply with Section 14ZU of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 which requires that "A person making a taxation objection must...lodge it with the Commissioner...".

Like any good Tax Agent, mere obfuscation by the ATO is not going to stop me from trying to do the right thing. Perhaps I should send it to my local tax office? However a quick Google search reveals that "If your query is not covered by a form you can write to us at GPO Box 9990, in the capital city of your state/territory". I could not find a form telling me how to obtain the appropriate address of the ATO and so I accepted their kind invitation to send my objection to GPO Box 9990.

Net result, more time wasted by me and the ATO have failed in their objective to reduce their workflow as they will have to give my objection their usual careful and thorough consideration."


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