"Member 228 writes in last week's TAXVINE - 2010 TAXVINE No 31 (30 July 2010): 'I think the time has come for another round of administrative disobedience from tax agents in response to the ATO's pathetic performance for the last six months.' I agree, but let's go one step further. Each and every one of the professional bodies should refuse to attend any more (liaison) meetings with the ATO, as those that have been held seem to be nothing more than an unproductive talkfest. One or two dozen tax agents going out on a limb will have little impact, but if they're sitting in a room with Treasury personnel, and no-one else, the message might get through. The last 6 months is the singular worst performance by the ATO in my 35 years as a tax agent. I pay annual subscriptions to the Taxation Institute, ICAA, CPAA, NTAA and the Law Society of NSW, and would like to see all that money spent in a fruitful manner."
MEMBER 242 writes:
"Dear TAXVINE and Members:
I too share your many frustrations with the recent failures of the ATO and the disastrous implementation of the Change program. As an outlet for this frustration, TAXVINE Member feedback has been dominated by reports of the negative impact this Change program has had on Tax Agents. I have to ask, though, how many agents have bothered to forward their letters of complaint to Treasury, with a cc to the Shadow Treasurer and your local member of Parliament and perhaps a cc to your media outlet of choice for good measure?
When we speak of making change, perhaps we should also consider the mechanics of how our political system works, and the methods needed to ensure our collective voice is heard. It is now plainly obvious that the professional bodies and the Tax Institute are not in a position to apply any real pressure where it is needed. I feel that only a disciplined and consistent bombardment of Treasury et al of examples of the 'real life' impacts of this disastrous chapter will lead to any wider awareness of the facts. Your cc to the Shadow Treasurer and your local member of Parliament will ensure that at least a response is received, and at best will ensure that Treasury, at the next Senate Estimates Enquiry, cannot merely deflect our complaints, as 'isolated' and 'unwarranted'."