05 Apr 12 On PLBK&C
MEMBER 81 writes:
“This past week we have had incorrect ECT notices; incorrect ‘foreign income’ (read inheritance) fishing expeditions; amendments to returns as originally lodged without any reasons given for adjustments; assessments issued (just not sent out to the taxpayer); penalty impositions and unreconciled penalty remissions. No-one at the monolithic ATO can give any semblance of a straight answer upon enquiry; and a phone call/letter to say ‘We don’t know’ does not satisfy any benchmark or KPI in my book – a file should not be closed just because a response is given – the response actually has to satisfy the enquirer to qualify a file for closure.
I could spend my whole working week supervising the ATO process, just as I currently do in supervising my junior staff … but I don’t necessarily get paid for the latter, and certainly won’t get paid for the former.
I recall a presentation given by the ATO touting proudly that a relatively high percentage of their staff were now female and under 30; great – another box ticked!! Not that I mind – I am female, and have in the past been under 30, but at that stage in my development, I was not given the task of administering the whole of the tax system, without adequate supervision or resource. I feel for the ATO employees who can only be muddling through a system that is ‘broke’!
I too can go out and buy a you beaut computer system complete with malfunctioning software (can somebody please tell the ATO that computers do not think). I would be expected to identify and correct its errors at my cost, otherwise I would be out of business. It’s a pity the ATO has no competition – although with all of the offshore outsourcing, maybe there is hope yet!”