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13 Feb 15 On amendment periods

MEMBER 18 writes:

"Regarding the 2 year amendment period for individuals with simple tax affairs.

I just found an ATO Officer who zealously pursued my client because she omitted to include (a minimal amount) of investment income in her 2011 income tax return. On principle, we chose to object for the client, and pointed out to the officer in charge that they were out of time as the taxpayer in question was definitely a taxpayer with 'simple' affairs (2 payment summaries and a couple of tax deductions).  I was informed that because the taxpayer chose to invest in an investment trust rather than a public trading trust or put her money in the bank to earn interest, that ATO could and would use their powers to amend her return outside the 2 year period.

No wonder the public loses faith in ATO! Quite clearly the intent of the legislation around s 170 ITAA 1936 (see Self-Assessment Bill (No 2) 2005 explanatory memorandum) is to give simple taxpayers like my client confidence and certainty in their tax affairs. Not so, when the ATO continue to employ people who enjoy the power of wearing the 'big boots' of a giant bureaucratic monolith that is the ATO."