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27 Jun 13 On demands by ATO

MEMBER 125 writes:
“Further to Member 124 last week – see 2013 TAXVINE No 23 (21 June 2013). Being given very short time frames is a very old issue, and a real problem because the short time frame is used to discontinue or disallow an item. TAGs have all experienced the threat: if certain items are not supplied within a short period (a few working days) the request is denied. How hard is it for the ATO to set reasonable response time standards for TAGs on various items? Like 10 working days minimum for queries, formal matters like audits, amendments, objection, RR, 28 days just like themselves. The alternative is to reduce the ATO Service Standards to those time frames they impose on us!!! Simple equality.”

MEMBER 126 writes:
“Member 124 was fortunate. Just prior to 15 May I was given two days for basically the same items. The auditor was understanding, however still insisted on immediate attention.
It’s about time the ATO had a reality check.”

MEMBER 127 writes:
“Couldn’t agree with Member 124’s comments more.
We all have instances of ATO demands that are outrageous and which show complete disregard as to what we have to contend with. Complete lack of consideration to tax agents and total double standards by the ATO.
No professional body stands up for us.
In five years’ time when there are no small tax practitioners left who is going to do all the work?
Further agree with Member 124 in that we are having more and more onerous requirements imposed on us plus more and more difficult legislation and regulations but do we get an extra concessions for lodgment? NO, all we get is a quota. Like it is our fault taxpayers do not comply.
Why has no professional body pushed for a new improved or extended lodgement program for tax agents? Surely it is time for a major overhaul initiated by the professional bodies.”

THE TAX INSTITUTE’S TAX COUNSEL, STEPHANIE CAREDES, COMMENTS: “The Tax Institute works tirelessly to engage with the ATO to improve the ATO’s interactions with tax practitioners and taxpayers. Members with particular concerns should contact us at”