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MEMBER 147 writes:

"Today I read the ATO email broadcast dated 11 July regarding errors in Payment Slip barcodes, sent by an ATO Assistant Commissioner.

I notice that:

  • ATO quickly blames someone else for their errors.
  • ATO tries to get someone else (Australia Post and accountants) to fix up their errors.

Why couldn't ATO have fixed this properly, by reprinting their incorrect forms?

The offending email broadcast has now been trashed and forgotten.

MEMBER 148 writes:

"Today, 11/7/2012 I have received an ATO email Broadcast

They advise that while preparing the collation packages in which we receive client's activity statements for the period ending 30/6/2012 their external print provider experienced an error, which resulted in incorrect payment barcodes printing on the payment slips on the activity statements.

For clients making activity statements at Australia Post this error could result in their payment not being applied to the correct account when received by the ATO. They advised that the EFT code on the statements were correct. They go onto say they have advised Australia Post of the error. They state that Australia Post will use the EFT code to cross reference the correctness of the barcode and if a mismatch occurs then Australia Post will enter the EFT code manually.

Great! I thought that I would contact our local Post Office to advise them of this error and asked them if they could enter the EFT code manually. They advised me that they were not allowed to override the EFT Bar Code but they would contact their Divisional Manager. A little later I was advised by our local post office that they had contacted their Divisional Manager Southwest (WA) who told them that the ATO had contacted them and advised them that this error only occurred in a few cases and that it did not affect that area and therefore he told the manager of my local Australia Post that he was not permitted to override the barcodes at any time. Well great. I have many, many BAS sent to me by the ATO for my clients all over Australia, not just the South West of Western Australia.

So how could the ATO know that it wouldn't affect any of my clients? Also if it only involved a very few clients then why did the ATO not recall those activity statements???

I can see here a big mess occurring. If one of my clients pays their BAS at a local Post Office anywhere in Australia, and this payment does not go to the right account - then whose account will this payment go to??? No doubt we, the tax agents, will again have to sort out the ATO mess at no charge to them. I am sick and tired of being an unpaid agent for ATO stuff ups!!!"

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