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MEMBER 121 writes:

"Why does the ATO publish service standards? Is it to make themselves feel good, is to appease the taxpayer, to appease Parliament, or is to be able to point to any anti-ATO people out there that they (the ATO) are good corporate people.

It is certainly not for actually being adhered to, that is for sure.

We are liquidating a company, lodged various returns, including an amendment, requested tax clearance, and to finalise the entire liquidation we need to close the bank account. Seems easy enough, but the fly in the ointment is that the ATO have been sitting on a refund for some time, the money is showing in the income tax account at the Portal, which means that it has been processed (as has been explained to me by the ATO over the years), but the official reason is that it is still processing. How can the correct amount, plus GIC, be showing on the Portal account?

This is very confusing, but when I call, I am told that it is not this department, not that department, but no one can tell me who/what/where etc is the sticking point. Apparently no one can direct call the processing departments, my calls have to be escalated (the service standard has already expired on the last escalation, but they can give me a new escalation with a new service standard)

In the very old days, every tax agent had a relationship team, you had about three people on the team who looked after an area or a group of agents, you got to know them, both over the telephone and even a cuppa if they dropped into the office, that worked. You had a problem, you rang them, there were honest and helpful

Bring them back, so that service standards actually mean service."

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