06 Mar 15 On paper versus electronic BAS – the ATO responds
In 2015 TAXVINE No 6 (27 February 2015) MEMBER 29 wrote:
“I am having quite an issue with BAS going missing under the new ATO electronic lodgement regime.
If I lodge a BAS through my portal I understand that it then goes electronic. My issue is that there is no easy way to change back to paper. The ATO advise to update to paper on the portal (page QC41414) but this does not work!! There is no method here to update.
I have also lodged CU forms to cease receiving activity statements electronically (my assumption being that it would then revert to paper) but these CU forms appear to go missing – even after having received a validation report.
The lady at the ATO advised me that we should get all clients to use the business portal, and that most people find this easier. I am not sure where these statistics come from as most of my clients prefer to receive a paper BAS once a quarter to remind them to lodge, and the complexity of setting up a business portal is quite difficult for quite a lot of small clients.”
THE ATO NOW RESPONDS
“The change implemented on 1 July 2014 to stop sending paper activity statements after an electronic lodgement, has required some tax practitioners and their clients to change the way they remind themselves of their activity statement obligations. Activity statement due dates are consistent, which makes it easy to set up reminders. The ATO encourages practitioners to promote the use of reminder tools to assist clients to self-manage their obligations. A range of suggestions can be found on ato.gov.au at Options to remind you of your obligations.
To assist business clients move to online channels the ATO provides assistance through online videos, Small business assist, after hours Web chat and call backs, as well as assistance visits. Clients experiencing difficulty setting up their AUSkey or using the Business Portal can contact AUSKEY, Technical help desk support or ATO online services for assistance.
If a client does need to revert to paper lodgement after their activity statement has been lodged via the portal, they need to contact the ATO to make this change.”