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12 Oct 12 On ATO service standards for refund reviews

MEMBER 204 writes:

"Hello fellow members,

As I write this, I am on hold to the ATO. Usually I open the SMH while waiting, however today I thought I'd write to you instead. I am currently chasing a tax refund for a client held up due to a 'Delay in the processing of your 20XX income tax return' letter.

As you've probably guessed, the service standard [time] to process this refund and correspond with me has past. Now it's my turn to chase the money, putting time on the clock I will hopefully bill. On a side note, I need to remember to communicate what it took to get this refund back when I next see the client, to assist explaining the fee. Back on topic, why do the ATO quote service standards that rarely materialise ('rarely' is me attempting to be fair, in my experience, reviews and audits are never completed within service standards). I would be much happier receiving a refund review letter...saying: 'We expect this to be completed in about 6 months, and can you call us to push it along as well at the 4 month stage, otherwise we'll forget, cheers, ATO.'

That would at least make me smile.

As a professional I was taught to under-promise and over-deliver. Could that practice be adopted by the ATO?"

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