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02 Apr 1515 On completing ATO online forms

MEMBER 64 writes:

“I recently spent over an hour trying to complete and submit the new ATO Tax Agent deferral forms. It seems the ATO are using their own version of self-writeable PDFs. I completed and ‘saved’ 4 separate forms as the forms were not providing space for additional taxpayers. After saving the forms and going onto the portal to lodge them, I thought I had better double check the form before attaching. Abracadabra – all data had disappeared.

Whatever happened to the simple MS Excel forms that used to be available for lodgement deferral requests? At least they worked properly.

After speaking with our IT manager, apparently there are a lot of issues with all types of ATO forms. Do the ATO even test these things when they come up with these ‘improvements’?

I did finally manage to save a form that retained data and lodge it via the portal. It only took an hour and a half for what should have been a 10 minute maximum task.

If there was a way we could add all of the time lost that these ‘efficiency measures’ implemented by the ATO costs us onto our lodgement targets, we’d all be at 100%.”

TAX COUNSEL THILINI WICKRAMASURIYA NOTES: A draft of the new deferral form was discussed at a meeting of the ATO Lodgment Working Group on 8 October 2014 and subsequently circulated by the ATO for comment by the group on 22 October 2014. We were then advised that final user testing of the new deferral form was conducted with practitioner members of that group from 20 November to 22 November 2014.


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