MEMBER 72 writes, in response to Member 70's comments about dependant spouse offsets in last week's TAXVINE - see 2013 TAXVINE No 12 (12 April 2013):
"Thanks Member 70. It is good to see that I am not the only tax agent receiving these stupid ATO letters. What a waste of time and money. I have received several of these requests, including for clients who have been married for decades and have been claiming a spouse rebate for over 10 years. Why should we have to prove the spouse exists when she has a TFN and the same address as the taxpayer? They must be really bored in the ATO in deciding this is the best use of their time and our money."
MEMBER 73 writes:
"I would like to go 'ditto' on those Member 70 comments last week concerning fictitious spouses. When a tax offset has been claimed for many years it is ludicrous that we and the client have to establish that the spouse actually exists. We do have to insert name and TFN/dob plus address on the tax return. Yet another waste of resources."
MEMBER 74 writes:
"It may interest Member 70 to know that one of my clients was required to provide their marriage certificate to prove they had a spouse – no choice of methods of proof, just the marriage certificate was asked for – but I checked what a spouse is according to the Act and it is not legal to marry some of the people defined as a spouse – at least not at present – so what happens there??? We did away with the bedroom police a long time ago!"