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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'.

Author profile:

Alice MCCLEARY
Alice is a consultant with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in Adelaide and was one of the four external tax consultants to the Ralph Review of Business Taxes. She is a Past President of the Tax Institute and has undertaken a number of State and National roles within the Institute. As well as her tax commitments, Alice undertakes a variety of South Australian and Commonwealth statutory business related appointments. Alice is a South Australian Large Business winner and was a National Finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the year Awards in 1997.
Current at December 2003
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