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MEMBER 354 writes:

"I have just received the ATO eLink for 1st December 2010. I am really annoyed by their item headed 'Default assessments for non-lodgers' where they are setting a deadline for lodgment of overdue returns of 13 January 2011 to avoid default assessments.

They have a bloody hide! They have stuffed us around all year with their incompetent systems management and now, as well as the demands of banks for financials at the end of December for borrowers and the other clients who decide they need something 'urgently' on Christmas Eve - we now have the threat of sorting out shoeboxes of dockets and the job of reconstructing records for someone who hasn't lodged for what ever reason (family breakdowns, serious illness etc aren't usually arranged with the object of avoiding lodging returns). If we don't or won't do the work it doesn't do our reputation much good (I am a sole practitioner in a small town). If we charge an arm and a leg to try and discourage that type of work, our reputation suffers, and if we take it on and do it, it isn't appreciated by some people anyway. We are between a rock and a hard place.

Why can't the ATO people, who will no doubt have their Christmas break (and be paid for the holidays they take), think a little bit about the people they use as their unpaid enforcers and use one of the other eleven 13ths in 2011 instead of the first. I thought I had a fair chance of having eleven consecutive days off for the first time in eleven years - fat chance now!

Thanks for the forum."

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