In 2014 TAXVINE No 23 (4 July 2014), Member 78 wrote:
“ATO needs to come out of the dark ages.
As a relatively new tax agent, I am applying for ELS registration for the first time. Downloaded the form from the ATO website, and notice there is only a fax number to send it to. A fax number? For getting set up an ELS registration? Surely that can’t be right. Didn’t faxes go out with the dinosaurs? Rang the ATO (ELS FKC) to check if there’s an email address I can send my form to. No, they only have a fax number. So I found a friend who has a fax machine, emailed my form to them and got them to fax to the ATO for me. The receiving fax at the ATO’s end has an error. So I ring the ATO again (ELS FKC) to ask what the problem is with their fax. They can’t check the fax because they are in a different office from the fax. The people who deal with ELS registration are in an Eastern state, but the fax machine is in Perth. ‘Sorry, we can’t even call anyone, to check if the fax machine has paper in it.’ Surely I can send my one-page application via email, or lodge in the Portal? I am told no, only this fax number is acceptable. Come on ATO, you need to do better than this!!”
THE ATO NOW RESPONDS:
"We acknowledge and recognise your concerns. The ATO are currently reviewing services with a view to making online the preferred method for all interactions. A review of the electronic lodgment service (ELS) registration process is being conducted and we are looking at ways of providing contemporary electronic service options for registration requests. Thank you for your feedback."