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MEMBER 73 writes:

“I have just received an ATO letter from one of my Clients and it is to remind them that their 2013 tax return is overdue. Only problem is that all of this client’s mail is supposed to be directed through myself as the tax agent. Quite obviously the ATO do not now care about sending all mail as requested to the tax agent and are of the belief that they can do what they want.

In this case the Taxpayer has substantial carry forward losses and is not in a taxable situation. One day the ATO will actually get their super computer programmed properly.

Not good enough ATO.”

TAX COUNSEL THILINI WICKRAMASURIYA COMMENTS: “The ATO’s protocol on when clients of tax agents should be contacted directly can be found on the ATO website. The protocol was designed in conjunction with the tax practitioners on the ATO Tax Practitioner Forum. Members have recently made us aware of instances where this protocol has not been followed and we have raised this issue in various ATO forums. We understand from the NTLG meeting on 19 June 2014 that issues concerning the protocol will be dealt with by the ATO Tax Practitioner Advisory Group. Please contact us at Tax Policy if you have any further examples where the ATO has contacted clients of tax agents directly and has not followed the protocol.”

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