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MEMBER 104 writes:

"Set out below is a list of bugbears...brought up in a ATPF Meeting in 2004, and raised...again in November 2005.

The ATO tried to address item 1 with booked phone calls, and I am not sure how relevant item 9 about FTB is. Every other item is still a big issue, nothing to my knowledge has been done to address the items, if the ATO has tried then it has failed.

So 7 YEARS has passed and nothing has been achieved.

We still deal with the same bugbears and no doubt ATO Executive still "talk" about doing something. The descriptive, grossly disingenuous, comes to mind when senior ATO talking of how they are helping us...

  1. Difficulty finding experts at the Tax Office or receiving different answers to the same question from different Tax Office staff - new and changing legislation.
  2. The approach to the imposition of penalties and interest is unreasonable.
  3. Correspondence being sent directly to the client when the tax agent is more appropriate and vice versa.
  4. Not receiving an acknowledgement or response to written correspondence within a reasonable time, or not at all.
  5. The large quantities of unnecessary or irrelevant information delivered to tax agents.
  6. The administrative cost to business of a Tax Office audit is high.
  7. Tax Office staff not calling back within a reasonable time, or not at all.
  8. The professional skills and experience of Tax Office auditors is limited or inadequate.
  9. Family tax benefit - difficulty getting information needed to prepare the claim from Centrelink.
  10. The time taken to complete GST audit is too long."

THE TAX INSTITUTE'S TAX COUNSEL, STEPHANIE CAREDES, COMMENTS: "We have highlighted the issue of ATO correspondence being sent directly to clients as a major concern for the profession. This issue is on the agenda for the next ATPF meeting to be held on 25 May 2012. The intention is to resolve this issue at this meeting as the professional bodies have already consulted with the ATO on the major concerns for the profession on this issue directly with the ATO as background discussion for the ATPF meeting. If members have any ideas for solutions, you are invited to send these through to TaxPolicy and we will table them at the ATPF meeting.

As for the other issues Member 104 has highlighted, I thank you for doing so and will ensure they are raised for consideration and resolution at future ATPF meetings. For other Members who have particular issues they would like raised with the ATO, please send them through to TaxPolicy."

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