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01 Apr 11 On the ATO sending letters direct to agent's clients

MEMBER 53 writes:

"Re ATO Elink of 30/03/2011

"If you have clients who are trustees of closely held trusts they will receive a letter titled 'You will soon need to lodge your 2010 trust income tax return'. The letter is to remind trustees to provide the necessary information to you in time to lodge by 15 May 2011."

Would someone please let the ATO know this direct unsolicited communication with clients is not necessary and should be stopped. We are usually appointed as someone's Tax Agent to, surprise, surprise, "act as an Agent" for them in relation to their tax affairs and in most cases would already be in communications with clients to work to meet the lodgment deadlines.

In my 25 years plus experience this direct communication is a complete waste of ATO resources. It doesn't change the behaviour of the worst offenders and causes a great deal of concern for conscientious taxpayers and Agents. An Agent's time would be better spent on actually completing the returns rather than dealing with the fallout of this type of communication. Particularly as the due date also now conflicts with BAS and FBT due dates as well.

Surely the resources of the ATO should be concentrated on improving their service to Tax Agents and ensuring those Agents and taxpayers alike that actually are not doing the right thing are dealt with accordingly...once they have actually done something wrong."


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