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MEMBER 16 writes:

"I have just wasted over 40 minutes with staff at Dun and Bradstreet. They have sent one of my clients a demand letter for an integrated account and my client is regularly paying her agreed amount of $ 500 per month. The first letter was written on 20 January 2012, the next letter was written on 30 January 2012 and demanded that my client pay the full debt within 48 hours.

It is time that the ATO realised these storm trooper tactics are useless. If they want to send the client broke, then they will not get their money. The best practice is to continue letting the client pay off the debt.

The person that I called at D & B refused to transfer the call to a supervisor, and then said she would and then just hung up the phone. I wasted more time calling again, I asked for the supervisor then I was advised that this was not possible as the staff could not transfer the call.

I then received a call from a supervisor who would not listen to me and refused to do anything at all and as they would not listen I had to terminate the call. How do I charge my client for the time spent? When are the ATO going to listen to us tax agents and stop continually wasting our time and threatening our clients?

Not good enough ATO. Could these issues be raised with the ATO at the next tax meeting?

Thank you. Keep up the good work."

THE TAX INSTITUTE'S TAX COUNSEL STEPHANIE CAREDES COMMENTS: "The Tax Institute has raised this issue for the ATO's consideration at the next ATPF meeting in February 2012. The Tax Institute will keep Members updated on the ATO's response."

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