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12 Jul 13 On ATO (in)efficiency

MEMBER 139 writes:

"I received this week a Director's Warning letter from the ATO regarding outstanding PAYG Witholding Tax for a company of which I am a director.

Being concerned about this, I looked up the Portal to find that there was nothing outstanding on any account, all required returns had been lodged and tax paid. I then rang the number on the letter and spoke with someone who could hardly understand what I was speaking about, both in language and content, but finally agreed that it appeared there was no debt outstanding.

Here's the issue - the May PAYG was paid by EFT on 21 June, the required date, but the Portal showed it being received on 24 June. The interesting thing is that 21 June was a Friday and 24 June a Monday and we are in WA so it appears that the weekend had the effect of making the payment late and on 1 July the Director's Warning letter was issued.

A further waste of half an hour of valuable time trying to find out why it was issued. It's as bad as the ATO issuing a garnishee notice to one of our client's bank for a debt, over half of which was not yet payable. They apologised but said it could not be withdrawn. This Government and its agencies are obviously running short of money."

MEMBER 140 writes:

"Here I go again. Member 88 and Member 129 here again. The ATO continues to amaze me with its inability to maintain correct address information for clients.

 I received a PAYG(I) letter for a client new to the PAYG system in November 2012. The second correspondence I received was the IAS received 18 December 2012. The second letter prompted me to change the address for mailing of the IAS forms, which was done the same day. Today, 8 July 2013 I receive another PAYG form. Why? The postal address was changed last December. I think this form should have been sent to the client address which I notified via the Portal.

 I am confused and frustrated at the lack of ATO accountability.

 To all fellow Practitioners, keep up the good work. As I see it, it looks like a long hard slog of a tax season coming!!"