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14 Nov 14 On "final" assessments

MEMBER 182 writes: 

"In the past the ATO had a practice of treating the final assessment clearance (and after reasonable enquiry of other debts and obligations) as being the end of a deceased taxpayer’s ATO obligations.

They have withdrawn this treatment such that there is no closure anymore (refer old Chapter 32 of the ATO Receivables Policy). Subsequently, twelve months after an Estate was distributed (and assessments issued), the ATO advises that excess contributions were made 3 years ago and there will be an excess non-concessional contribution assessment issued. The ATO advice is to ask for the Commissioner's discretion to have them excluded. If that fails, then apply to have the debt against the trustee deemed not fair and just to be collected.

The cost to the now professionally retired trustee is material. The ATO in the interests of commerciality must come up with a better system than leaving trustees exposed for many years to a taxpayer’s debts even though they have had all reasonably known assessments issued for income tax. Please note I was not engaged in the deceased’s earlier affairs."