In 2014 TAXVINE No 45 (5 December 2014), Member 196 wrote about an unfortunate experience that one of their clients had with one of the ATO's debt collection agencies, in which incorrect allegations were made, threats were made, and all in relation to alleged outstanding liabilities that had never been notified to Member 196 as the taxpayer's tax agent.
THE ATO NOW RESPONDS
"Thank you for your comments. The integrity of the information we have on record for taxpayers is very important to us and unfortunately in this circumstance, our records did not correctly reflect your client’s details. We are continuing to work on our systems to better integrate PAYG instalments to the Income Tax Account.
We are also working on opportunities to provide tax agents with a list of their clients with outstanding debts to enable them to manage these holistically with the ATO. We are in the early stages of identifying how this will work and hope to commence these communications in the New Year.
Employees of external agencies are bound by the same code of conduct requirements as the ATO. We rigorously manage the performance of the external collection agencies through regular monitoring of their interactions. Complaints are governed by senior managers to ensure cases are investigated and that appropriate feedback is provided.
We would like to investigate this specific matter therefore we encourage you to provide your details to enable us to fully investigate this issue."