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MEMBER 110 writes of the ATO announcement that, from 1 July 2013, it is introducing a new framework for the lodgment program, so that it can differentiate between registered tax agents and BAS agents (registered agents) who meet their lodgment program obligations on time (namely, achieve an 'on time' lodgment program performance of 85% or more) and those who do not:

"Just what I needed while trying to lodge whatever I can before the 15th May - an email from the ATO saying they are going to re-introduce a quota system for lodging returns (85%) for the 2013-14 year. Based on today (14 May 2012), it looks like I would not have met the new 85% mark and so could not apply for any further extensions after today (in 2013-14) - that is going to be a worry for small sole practitioners like me."

MEMBER 111 writes on the same topic:

"One can only see this measure as the beginning of the constant attacks by the ATO on tax agents and attempts to get rid of them. One must ask what have all of the professional bodies been doing to oppose this step, when will they all fight the ATO and the Government of the day. The ATO has constantly refused to look at our whole of lodgment work and just concentrate on BAS returns and Tax Returns. They should be forced to look at how much time is wasted on replying to their queries and the problems that their super computer system creates for us all. They should be forced also to look at the fact that staff at the ATO refuse to write and reply to correspondence, refuse to satisfactorily answer tax agent queries, and to look at the problems that the withholding of tax refunds has created for a great many tax agents.

This certainly smells of the beginning again of problems for the poor tax agent."

THE TAX INSTITUTE'S TAX COUNSEL, STEPHANIE CAREDES, COMMENTS: "The Tax Institute strongly advocates in the best interests of its members and the profession, persisting until it achieves the best possible outcomes that the circumstances will allow."

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