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MEMBER 43 writes:

"Just received a statement for a client’s income tax account (will not make a comment on the waste of paper of the new style at this point), but it would appear that the ATO is back to its bad old tricks and retaining refunds due from an Activity Statement and applying the money to the income tax debt, due 15 May 2010. I thought that this was something that we jumped up and down about several years ago. I contacted the ATO and received the party line as read out, but when asking why this was something that was stamped out previously was put on hold for 10 minutes. I will have an answer “shortly”, but the service standard is, of course, 28 days. Will not hold my breath."

MEMBER 44 writes:

"Having incorrectly calculated the interest payable as part of an SGC payment, I received a letter for the client today saying there is $128 credit on the account - the letter says if the client wants the money you have to ring up and ask for it - Why? Why can’t 'the system' just issue a cheque for the overpayment?

Called to ask for the refund - 'but there are two outstanding balances' - one on the income tax account (due to be paid 22.3.10) and one on the December Quarter BAS (was due 1.3.10) - I said the client has probably (hopefully) paid the BAS account by now - just put it on the Income Tax Account.

No, 'the system' won’t do that - it picks the one 'most due'. OK, I said, put it on the BAS account - OK, was the answer, will do but it will take 14 days and up to 28 days to do the transfer of $128 from one account to the other account.

My question is how could it take 28 days to do that? - surely the person I am speaking to can see two accounts in debit and one account in credit and just go click click and it is done???

Am I expecting too much from the new and improved 'system'?"

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