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How the ATO will fine you for relying on its own advice

Published on 18 Jun 01 by THE TAX INSTITUTE

The Taxation Institute of Australia called upon the ATO to take appropriate action after a significant number of urgent appeals for solution to widely known problems with the Running Balance Account system. The response from the ATO was to release a policy document under the innocuous-sounding title 'Issues arising from the overlap of PAYG annual instalments and lodgement of income tax returns.'

Hidden behind a substantial amount of technical jargon that even tax advisors found hard to understand is an admission from the ATO that they are currently sending thousands of small taxpayers letters that are correct, but if the taxpayers rely on them, the ATO will fine them. And this admission is made under a heading entitled: 'ATO Policy'.

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Dr Alice McCleary CTA-Life
Photo of author, Alice MCCLEARY Alice is a Director of several listed and unlisted companies. Alice is a Chartered Accountant with wide experience in leadership, corporate governance, professional practice and policy development. Alice has been a corporate tax partner in Coopers & Lybrand, was intimately involved with the Ralph Review of Business Taxation in the late 1990s, and in 2001 was President of The Tax Institute – the first woman to hold that position in the Institute’s history. She has also represented Australia on the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants, which sets the ethical standards for the world’s 2.5 million accountants. Alice is the inaugural Chair of both The Tax Institute’s Disciplinary Committee and Professional Standards Committee, and developed the procedures and by-laws for the Institute becoming a recognised tax agent association under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009. - Current at 29 November 2017
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