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01 Jul 11 On late lodgment letters and other matters

MEMBER 106 writes:

“Dear ATO – Thank for your e-mail letter re the erroneous 5 June Late Lodgement letter. Thank you for the apology that wasn’t contained in it. Thank you for again wasting my time pursuing an ATO bungle (hey – they keep coming) at my cost. Thank you for the 45-minute phone call POI process going through 3 different ATO employees to simply organise a repayment arrangement. Thank you for the simple 2009 company tax assessment amendment request you bungled and then requested me to complete an expensive $ and timewise objection to get it changed when the ATO simply couldn’t read what was in front of them.

Tax Practitioners Board – Thank you for finally sending my tax agent renewal notification many months after we completed and forwarded the application and pocketing our $2,000 in fees for the privilege of calling ourselves tax agents.

ATO – Thank you for ignoring any request for remittance of our client’s excess superannuation contributions tax which cited valid reasons for doing so but accepting only nuclear attack or alien invasion as valid reasons.

Thank you for pursuing sexy headline-grabbing projects like Project Wickenby (by the way Paul says Hi) but failing so dismally on simple tax administration matters like the Change System. Thank you for employing outside debt collection contractors to pursue clients via our firm who identify themselves as belonging to the ATO but admit they don’t when pressed on the issue.

Thank you to the ATO employee who didn’t believe our Murarrie, Brisbane-based (on the river) client was deserving of flood relief consideration and asked if the location was near Rockhampton?”


MEMBER 107 writes:

“You’ve no doubt seen the latest attack on poor tax agents from the ATO, namely, the ATO’s ‘Failure to lodge on time (FTL) penalty warning letter – issued in relation to 5 June lodgment concession period’. See the full text of the letter here.

We are trying to do our best, constant attacks from within do not help us at all.

What is needed is assistance and time to finish our work. We do not need constant attacks form the ATO. Some understanding and appreciation would be far better.

What is the Tax Institute doing to assist us in this mad mess?”


The Tax Institute’s Tax Counsel TAMERA LANG comments:

We are very disappointed that the ATO sent the FTL penalty warning letter in cases where a tax agent was eligible to apply and relied on the 5 June concession. In many cases, the letter has caused unnecessary administration and pressure for tax agents. Whilst the ATO broadcast of 23 June  provided some clarity on the situation, such a broadcast would not have been necessary in the first place had the ATO only sent to the FTL warning letter to tax agents that failed to comply with the concession.  We have raised our concerns with the ATO and will be discussing it with them at the next ATPF meeting.