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  • 30 November 2017

    The Professional Services Reference Group held their first meeting on Thursday 30 November 2017.

    The information below is a summary of topics discussed at the meeting.

    Purpose

    The Professional Services Reference Group consists of tax practitioners and ATO representatives who will focus on understanding administrative issues directly affecting tax and BAS agents, and working together to develop practical solutions to those issues as the ATO prepares for Tax Time 2018.

    ATO Online

    The first meeting showcased a demonstration of the new ATO Online services for agents that will replace the current tax and BAS agent portals. Similar functionality is being made available to Digital Service Providers so they can include these in practice management software.

    Known issues and priorities

    The members discussed known issues and prioritised what will be looked at in the coming months.

    The initial priorities agreed on at the meeting were:

    • aspects of the debt experience, focusing on pain points in the current processes which include, but are not limited to; inconsistency in contact, advice and timeframes, payment plans, communication and expectations as well as the currency of information provided
    • tailored engagement with tax practitioners, with a focus on supporting agents who try and do the right thing
    • streamlining and reducing inconsistency in proof of identity procedures
    • working with the profession around acceptable industry service standards
    • correcting inconsistencies in ATO systems such as recording of client address details.

    The group highlighted that any inconsistency in their dealings with the ATO negatively impacts their experience and greater consistency should be a goal across all the priorities.

    Next meeting and more information

    The next meeting will be scheduled for February 2018 and will be a workshop that aims to understand and work towards a plan for a solution for one of the above priorities.

    For further information, please contact TPSG@ato.gov.au or use #workingtogether to be part of the conversation on social media.

      Last modified: 12 Sep 2018QC 54495