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MEMBER 20 writes:

"I have received a letter from the ATO this morning that has made me furious. It is a blatant threat to restrict access to self-assessed deferrals. The numbers they quote tell the story. I applied for deferrals on 4.72% of my client base. Of these 25% were lodged late and 31.67% are still unlodged. Whilst the percentages of late/non lodgment seem high we are only dealing with a total of 4.72% of my client base. Convert those over my total client base and it appears they have a problem with 1.5% of my client returns being not lodged from 2010. This is 19 of over 1,250 returns lodged. If only I could log onto the Portal 98.5% of the time or get error rates from the ATO in any (let alone all) matters with a 1.5% error rate. It has become obvious to me that the criticism given by tax agents to the ATO has not led to the ATO lifting its game but rather to a system of payback against tax agents."

THE TAX INSTITUTE'S TAX COUNSEL STEPHANIE CAREDES COMMENTS: "The Tax Institute will raise the issue concerning access to self-assessed deferrals with the Lodgment Working Group at their next meeting on 23 March 2012."

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