21 Mar 13 On charging for fixing ATO mistakes
MEMBER 49 writes:
"I disagree with Member 44 in last week's Member Feedback - see 2013 TAXVINE No 8 (15 March 2013). A tax agent does not just prepare and lodge tax returns. One of the things that we do for clients is manage their relationship with the ATO. That is why we are described as a tax AGENT. This work includes fixing stuff ups by the ATO. Look at it from the client's point of view. The ATO increases both tax returns as per Member 44 last week. Firstly, the poor client does not know why the tax payable is different, they do not know how it occurred and do not know how to get it fixed and how to progress the issue through the ATO via various fast key codes. All this is part of our extensive expertise in the area of tax and is thus a very valuable service that we provide to clients. We should thus be charging like wounded bulls for this. The client has no choice but to pay us BIG time for this expertise. They can fill in their own tax return with some effort on line but they can't fix the ATO stuff ups.
If members of The Tax Institute are complaining on Member Feedback about how hard it is to deal with the ATO and the Portal then that is our cue to charge clients and become super rich."