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MEMBER 181 writes:

"TAXVINE No 38 on 30 September 2011 was very quiet. Everyone must be on school holidays. I have noticed a couple of disturbing trends in recent weeks. These are:

1. Different government departments seem to be using the contact details for tax purposes as their lazy way of making contact. Our curt response is there is a privacy issue here and go and look the number up in the telephone directory.

2. We have been chasing a tax refund since mid-August 2011. We get the wait 30 day routine at end of August and then 30 days later we receive the excuse that the refund is held up due to Child Support Agency. We contact our client who contacts CSA - no there is no issue here and client then rings ATO who state that our client will have to wait another 24 hours before their precious 30 days is up and they will escalate the matter. What is there to escalate? Why is ATO telling "stories" about CSA when it is not their issue.

3. Chased up a substantial GST refund that had been held up for a GST audit. Received the ATO audit letter and replied with the required documents on the same day. Wait 2 weeks and then follow up as to where is it. Received the weak reply that ATO is so busy with so many GST audits and wait for it - the ATO needs the taxpayer’s ABN to complete the audit. Our reply? Go and look on the BAS as lodged. It is in the top right hand corner because our software will not allow lodgment without the ABN and Document ID.

And the ATO wants to call itself a professional organisation. No wonder they are resisting having an external oversight board.

Please don't get me started on the Tax Practitioners Board!!!"

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