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13 Feb 15 On ATO service standards

MEMBER 17 writes:


"Can someone tell me where the ATO collects their data about service standards? Also is there a direct contact point to complain about failure of service standards because they are pathetic? 

I have never, not once, received an objection request actioned within the 56 day quoted service standard. My objection record to date is 100% successful and in about 75% of cases, there is a minimum of 90 days before notification. In nearly every case, I have called the ATO at the end of the 56 days to check on progress and the operator cannot tell me anything about it and it always seems like the objection has not been progressed.  It then gets ‘escalated’ and then escalated again upon complaint.

I know the ATO is under-resourced, but why bother quoting service standards if they are never met?

I have recently had an objection completed in the ‘record time’ of about 60 days (again successful). I received a written notice on 1 December 2014 advising that an amended assessment would issue within 30 days. There was a credit in the account of about $30,000 in early January, but no amended assessment. I had a staff member call the ATO in late January to request the release of the refund and it was promised within 7 days. 8 days later - no refund and no amended assessment. I had the staff member call again and he was told the previous officer should never have advised that, apologised and advised there was no issue date set for the amended assessment and to call back after 28 days (that is, in March 2015,  90+ days after receipt of the positive objection notice).

At this point, I’m getting (polite wording) a little angry, so I had the staff member call again, advise the ATO officer that they were well outside their service standards and to escalate it to their highest priority. This ATO officer actually did the right thing and has promised action within 2 weeks. 

So an objection has exceeded the service standard (60 days) to be actioned and then at least another 60 days (and counting) to issue an amended assessment and release the refund. Where are the service standards???

The cynic in me thinks it is a Government ploy to hold onto our money for as long as they can since they are so heavily in debt.

Please let me know where I can direct my complaint – is it to IGOT or is there a direct ATO contact point?  Thanks TAXVINE for allowing me to vent!!!"