MEMBER 68 writes:
“Ah! Tax Administration. Once upon a time we did have a client who has since relocated overseas and is no longer a resident taxpayer. We had duly removed this person from our lodgment list years ago. Lo and behold! We receive a letter sent to our office demanding that income tax returns back to 2009 be lodged and, to boot, the $850 million computer had imposed FTL penalties in excess of $3000.
We duly advised the ATO that the taxpayer had left the country and was not obliged to lodge returns for the said years and that further we had deleted the taxpayer from our lodgment list and that in the interests of efficient taxation administration the ATO should remit the FTL penalties to save the debt collection operatives wasting time.
We duly received a phone call from the ATO to say that they accept that we are no longer the tax agent and they accept that the FTLs should be remitted, but they could not action our advice because we were not the registered tax agent. They suggested that we add the taxpayer to our lodgment list and then lodge Client updates so they could then remit the FTL penalties.
OK, so who is going to pay for this stupidity? Wake up ATO and fix your own internal systems. If the underlings cannot action this then send it to Mr C Jordan as he is your head honcho and should be able to sign off on it. Alternatively, I can issue to the ATO a tax invoice for my services to be paid in advance and then I will correct your stupidity.”