20 Feb 15
On ATO correspondence - the ATO responds
In 2015 TAXVINE No 2 (30 January 2015), Member 7 wrote about ATO correspondence that failed to take into account events that had occurred prior to the issue of the correspondence and remarked "I wonder how the ATO manages to survive when their correspondence system is such a disaster."
THE ATO NOW RESPONDS
"The ATO has previously recognised that there can be timing mismatches between when we identify that a return or activity statement is overdue and when a taxpayer or their representative receive correspondence about this. In that intervening period the taxpayer can sometimes take steps to lodge their outstanding return. To address this, the ATO has edited letters to advise taxpayers that if they have recently lodged the required return or activity statement then they can disregard the letter.
Of greatest concern to the ATO would be situations where a taxpayer receives correspondence when it should have been clear to the ATO that the form was not overdue. To this end, if members are aware of specific cases where a taxpayer has received a request for an overdue return to be lodged where there clearly is no overdue return, we would appreciate the specific details being shared privately with the ATO. With this information the ATO can work out if there are underlying errors in contacting taxpayers and the circumstances in which this occurs.
If you wish to make a complaint or provide feedback where the ATO has sought lodgment of a form that had not become overdue, you can do this by lodging a complaint/feedback form through the portal, or by completing the complaints form on ato.gov.au or alternatively by calling the ATO’s Complaints Hotline on 1800 199 010. In doing so, please specify that your issue relates to Lodgment Demands. If you are just providing feedback, but you would like the ATO to contact you back about the matter please indicate this in the What outcomes are you seeking? section of the form or when you speak to one of our staff."