08 Aug 13 On ATO service and (in)efficiency
MEMBER 170 writes:
"I am honestly so tired of the way people in the ATO do not know what their own systems are - and again at the lack of training or knowledge so many of them appear to have.
Today we tried to get an ABN and GST registration for a new company – one of the owners is Chinese so does not have a TFN – nothing unusual about that. But an Error Message appeared with a note 'please ring for assistance'. So we did. We were told that because this person is a non-resident with no TFN we need to supply proof of identification. Again, though a bit of a hassle, no problem with that as this sort of thing requires checking. So we were given a Reference No and told to go to the ATO on Franklin Street to show them the ORIGINAL passport. Could not be the copy we had retained from the client. So we called the client and he brought his passport in to us.
However, at the ATO on Franklin Street no-one could help. They said 'we only deal with individuals' and had no idea how to assist. They got my staff member to ring the registration office from the ATO internal phone line – it took over 30 mins back and forwards. Do you know that they actually insisted we send the ORIGINAL passport to them – my staff member luckily did no such thing and insisted on being helped. In the end a copy was taken, the ABN reference number attached, and then it was put in the internal ATO mail envelope.
This took, by the time he drove there, almost 2 hours. At this time of the year, it simply isn’t good enough. I shudder to think what might have happened if I had sent someone more junior who may have handed over the passport."
MEMBER 171 writes:
"I have just received a letter from the ATO showing which of my clients are eligible for the extension of time to lodge their annual PAYG annual summary. I appreciate the letter, however, there are 2 taxpayers listed who are not my clients. I thought I would just delete them off my client list. When I go to enter the ABN provided by the ATO I find I can’t delete them as clients as I am not authorised to view their information. How can they be listed as my clients if I am not authorised to view their information? Does this also mean my lodgment percentage is lowered as they have not lodged their 2012 tax return so do not qualify for the extension?
Please ATO get your information correct so you do not penalise us tax agents for your inefficiencies at not getting our client numbers correct. What happens if we get penalised because you got the numbers incorrect?