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MEMBER 79 writes:

“I too am rejoicing with the ATO on the ‘efficiencies’ they are implementing with SIG (‘System is God’).

No matter how focussed and committed we are on dealing with change, we are being compromised daily by SIG and the ATO swamping us with errors in processing, system failures and totally compromised data.

Please TI pass this on to your next working group meeting with the ATO.

How’s this for SIG’s impact on my business over the past few weeks?

1. March BAS – sole practitioner clients lodged electronically since June 2014 have again not been uploaded or issued any other way. SIG says they have been ‘issued’. Our Activity Statement report received when uploaded lists them but shows nothing has been uploaded. Portal says issued according to ATO. Tax agent time spent checking portal records by client, lodging query via email in Portal, waiting (weeks) for response, and now in process of phone calls to establish SIG is wrong, and there are BASs no longer being delivered !!!! – anywhere!! Yes we can, and have, put workarounds in place so we can continue to provide a service to clients, but we have also communicated the current issues to the clients.

2. Portal ‘fixes’ over the past few weeks – we now have 3 clients whose information in the Portal has been altered – to their detriment – by the ‘fixes’. Client A has had my tax agent details replaced by those of the tax agent they used around 8 years ago, for all their entities. Client B records have been overwritten with no tax agent. Client C’s name has been changed, is now listed with position of ‘Chief’ and has a listed phone number of 999 999 – all rubbish. All of these require Tax agent time on the phone to try to remedy, and some will no doubt require resubmission of forms and more time to persuade the ATO that SIG has failed again!!

3. Lodged a tax return for an individual client with no field in the tax return to take the information on income – followed ATO instructions, and included ‘Other Attachment’ and ticked box on page 1 of ITR to say ‘Other Attachment’ to be processed. SIG ignores box and attachment, and tax return is not assessed on the information provided. Tax Agent has to lodge Objection, locates area in Portal, clicks on links – they don’t work! Goes to ATO website, finds and downloads Objection Form, completes, back to Portal, and required to re-enter half information on form, in order to lodge form. All this to lodge an objection to an assessment for a tax return which was correct when lodged, and due to the ATO not following its own processes for assessment.

This is not the first time this has happened. Why does the electronic lodgement process for individual tax returns ignore the Other Attachment when it is the only way of submitting the correct information to be assessed. And if this is an ATO efficiency where was the communication to tax agents to explain that the return would not be processed correctly and the ATO would require the tax agent to lodge an objection to obtain a correct assessment? Why is this ‘efficient’?”

TAX COUNSEL THILINI WICKRAMASURIYA COMMENTS: We endeavour to raise systemic issues regularly raised in Member Feedback in our discussions with the ATO.


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