Tax Counsel Tamera Lang ATIA attended the ATPF TaxTime Working Group teleconference on Thursday 7 July 2011. The purpose of the Working Group is to establish a close line of communication between the ATO and professional associations during the peak TaxTime season. The ATO will be giving updates on how processing has progressed, the performance of call centres and any critical system issues. The professional associations have been encouraged to alert the ATO to any systemic issues that tax agents are facing with tax return lodgements and refunds. If you are experiencing difficulties that you believe are attributable to the ATO’s systems, please contact us at Tax Policy.
The Tax Institute would like to remind all members that there are a number of common errors that can adversely impact a tax return’s processing time. It is worthwhile checking that your clients’ name, address and date of birth details are correct, and that there are no typographical errors, prior to lodging the return. A good way to check that the details you have on file match those on the ATO files is to download the pre-filling report from the Tax Agent Portal.
As a result of the Working Group teleconference, the ATO would like to pass on the following message to tax agents.
ATO TaxTime update
- The ATO has concluded the Production Pilot as planned on 05 July 2011
- We moved to normal processing of 2011 forms on 06 July 2011
- Processing of any 2011 forms held since 27 June and up to 05 July, and forms received daily from 06 July, will follow normal processing cycles.
Overall the deployment of the Tax Time changes and the production pilot has gone well. One point of clarification regarding the resumption of 2010 forms from Monday 27 June. As this was our second Tax Time we are still learning about our new system: resumption of normal processing would see a half day delay going forward. This year, due to a misunderstanding, 2010 forms (and earlier years) were held incorrectly, which meant that normal processing for these forms resumed on Tuesday 28 June 2011 – a two day delay.
- ATO service levels are in the mid 90% range and agent call waiting times are 30 seconds on average.