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21 Nov 14 On ATO insensitivity

MEMBER 183 writes:

"Thank you for the wonderful Feedback Section. It is a delight to read each week when I can see that I am not alone in the terrible frustration created by the ATO.

Here is another masterful display of insensitivity. 

The issue involves the apparent non-lodgment of the Annual GST Return for June 2009 (Yes, you read correctly, 2009). The final Trust Return for the entity was lodged June 2010, a ‘nil’ return and was marked FINAL. I prepared the Annual GST Return (I have a copy on my, now archived, file). Knowing the Director of the business, I know he would have mailed the form.

Unfortunately, he passed away in April this year. In the interim time period, we have received no correspondence from the ATO on this matter whatsoever. The ATO was notified of his passing. On 30 May 2014, the ATO raised a late lodgment penalty of $550, but nobody received correspondence still, until a demand payment letter issued on 1 November 2014, together with the obligatory threat of interest to be added.

How does the ATO justify these actions?? It takes them 5 years of no follow up, no correspondence, then just a few months to issue a demand letter. And this happens just after being advised that the taxpayer had deceased. Appalling decision making by somebody in the ATO.

When I spoke with a helpful lady in the ATO, she reversed the penalty, but was unable to help with the issue of a letter of apology to the Executors of the Estate.

Thanks again, TAXVINE, for a job well done."