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MEMBER 12 writes:

"I am at my wits' end - I have clients with refunds outstanding for returns lodged as far back as 7 July 2011. We have received a letter in relation to one which has been placed in the pre-assessment audit program black hole and for which the originals of everything required were hand delivered to the ATO in September 2011. I have others that just seem to sit there as credits on the client's income tax account and nothing seems to get things moving - we have had no correspondence in relation to any pre-assessment program and phone calls from the client and emails via the Portal elicit absolutely no response.

I am sure that I am not an orphan here – has any other agent come up with a solution or are we just going to have to issue a summons through the local court to get their attention?"

THE TAX INSTITUTE'S TAX COUNSEL STEPHANIE CAREDES COMMENTS: "We refer to our comments made in 2012 TaxVine No.2 issued on 3 February 2012 in relation to members' ongoing concerns with unnecessary delays occurring in the ATO's refund review process.

Once again, The Tax Institute urges all Members who are of the view that their client’s refund has been unnecessarily caught up to contact us at TaxPolicy. With your permission, we will approach the ATO where you are able to provide your tax agent number and your client's tax file number (with your client's permission). All information provided to us will be treated in confidence.

In addition, we have raised this issue for the ATO's consideration at the next ATPF meeting on 24 February 2012 and will keep Members updated on the ATO's response."

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