17 Apr 15 On tax agent portal client preferences updates – the ATO responds
In 2015 TAXVINE No 10 (27 March 2015) Member 54 wrote:
“We are regularly required to lodge amended BASs for clients when completing their annual tax returns. Many of these clients lodge their BASs manually by paper and prefer to lodge this way rather than by the Business Portal. Of course, as soon as we lodge the amended BAS via the TAP, the client preference changes to Portal/electronic and the client no longer receives a paper copy in the mail anymore. Yes, the TAP is supposed to allow us to change the preference from Portal to Postal but this function is not working so we are required to ring the Tax Office to change the preference back to Postal. This is all extra work for us. Why hasn’t this function been working? Even the clients that want to use the Business Portal have given up after many difficulties in setting it up. Why can’t the Tax Office system recognise that we are only lodging an amendment and leave the preference as Postal for future BASs?”
THE ATO NOW RESPONDS:
“To assist business clients to 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.
A single electronic lodgment of a revision activity statement will usually result in the paper being stopped for subsequent activity statements.
The function in the portal to switch from electronic back to paper is only available if an activity statement is lodged via the Electronic Lodgment Service (ELS).
The ATO is focused on assisting practitioners and their clients to use electronic means to lodge their original activity statements. The ATO is reviewing the approach to revised Activity Statements.”