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MEMBER 103 writes:

"Having received a letter for a client stating with the usual directness that they had sold a property in July 2009 that they may have forgotten to include in their 2010 income tax return, and knowing that the property had indeed settled in July after being contracted for sale prior to June 2009 so that the capital gain was included in the 2009 income tax return, I set about the task of contacting the ATO to have the matter corrected.

After being told several times that the property was sold in July and me reminding the officer that the date in their schedule was in fact settlement date and not contract date which required the gain to be reported in the prior year, I was asked to provide a copy of the contract to prove that their date was wrong. I stated my reluctance in having to retrieve and forward a copy of the contract as the gain had been properly reported in the 2009 return and that it should have been clear that the gain in 2009 related to the gain that they were trying to assess in 2010. After a few minutes of discussion, the officer asked whether I would mind waiting whilst she checked another database. Apparently, the other database isn't always available and doesn't always contain the information that is being looked for, but she was able to confirm for this client that the property was indeed sold in the 2009 year having found the contract date. A letter would issue in due course to advise that no adjustment will be made to the 2010 return.

All of this begs the question: Why wasn't this 'other database' checked before the notice issued?"

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