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17 Feb 1212 On getting paid to fix ATO problems

MEMBER 21 writes:

"I would like to comment on the feedback from members 13 and 16 - see 2012 TAXVINE No 3 (10 February 2012) - that they can't get paid for the time taken fixing problems with the ATO.

I believe that of all the work that we do the most valuable is that of fixing problems with the ATO. We do have expertise in completing tax returns but we have greater expertise and experience and patience in dealing with the ATO. This is worth big money to the client as it saves them a stress induced heart attack.

So to quote Rob Nixon, swallow some courage pills, and send an appropriately high invoice to your client. If the client does not like this then they can make their complaints known to their local member of parliament.

The Member for Warringah is already being lobbied by a number of my clients that are over 65 and asking why they cannot make deductible contributions into their SMSFs even though they do not pass the work test."

Whilst MEMBER 22 gives the contrary view:

"We finally got one of those pesky 'we need you to substantiate your claims' assessments back. It's only taken 6 months.

D1 (motor vehicle expenses) was disallowed in full - no reasons given. The claim was made using the cents per km method (4,158kms to be precise), based upon a reasonable estimate of the taxpayer's use of his own vehicle in travelling offsite during the working day, and travelling re work related education.

D5 (other deductions) was adjusted in favour of the taxpayer - receipts presented to the ATO exceeded the claims originally made by a whopping $42.

No doubt the assessment will show up on the ATO stats as an 'adjustment required' - one of the 80%.

No doubt we will object to the disallowance of D1.

No doubt that the ATO will concede, and the taxpayer will receive the refund to which he was originally entitled, plus an extra $13.23 for the privilege.

Also no doubt that the client will be so aggrieved that his $120 tax return fee turned into a $1,200 tax return fee, that he will go elsewhere for services next year.

Nice One!!"

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