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MEMBER 99 writes: 

"Dear ATO

Why is your Portal generating payment references that are rejected by your own systems? I spent 1.5 hours over the last 2 days chasing down a payment which was made to the ATO by direct credit using the correct ATO-generated reference, yet went into a 'black hole' in the ATO from which it had not yet emerged. The ATO officer who resolved it was lovely and extremely helpful and the amount has now been processed with effect from the original receipt date. But that’s not the point.

I spent 1.5 hours that I can’t charge to my client and that I will never get back. The client spent who knows how more time, much trying to prove that the payment had gone through properly and that there was no glitch at their end, generating bank proofs etc. The exact same issue happened with a payment by the same client to the same account 6 weeks ago. On that occasion, the ATO people found the payment in the black hole and allocated it after 2.5 weeks. Why did no-one tell the client that there is a problem with the reference number that the ATO's own system is providing? This is apparently a known problem, so why hasn’t it been fixed?"