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  • Tax Time 2022 update – 5 July

    The Tax Practitioner Stewardship Group (TPSG) Tax Time 2022 meeting was held on Tuesday 5 July 2022. Key messages and themes from the discussion are listed.

    On this page

    Attendance

    Role changes for attendees are noted below:

    • Vivek Chaudhary was an apology, Les De Wind represented Lodge and Pay
    • Deb Jenkins was an apology for Small Business
    • Zoe Russell and Emma Cramey for the pre-call SMS discussion.

    TPSG external member apologies:

    • Mark Morris, BNR Partners
    • Matthew Addison, Institute of Certified Bookkeepers
    • Tony Greco, Institute of Public Accountants
    • Phil McCann, McCann Financial Group
    • Warren Seeto, Clarity Professional Group.

    Welcome

    Members were welcomed to the TPSG Tax time 2022 meeting series and advised of changes to ATO representatives for the meeting.

    ATO updates

    ATO Systems and Digital services

    • Systems operating well overall, no exceptions to report.
    • 7.85 million employers have finalised their income statements.
    • 99% of welfare data has been received.
    • DSP readiness is tracking at 100% for individuals and 95% overall.
    • A reminder that third-party pre-fill availability is accessible on ato.gov.au.

    Member comments

    • A member queried the time delay between information showing as ‘tax ready’ and being available in pre-fill data.

    The ATO acknowledged that there may be a slight timing difference but would investigate and report back to the group.

    Members were requested to send any examples of where pre-fill data was showing as available to the client, but not showing on the website availability list, to the TPSG mailbox.

    Service Delivery

    • Call volumes have increased as expected but are being managed well.
    • Contact centres opened over the weekend, receiving about 100 calls on the tax agent queue.
    • Lodgment is going well, acknowledging the safety nets are still in place.

    Marketing and Communication

    • The key tax time focus for this week is on reminding taxpayers and agents of the importance of waiting for pre-fill information to be available before lodging, including messages about ‘waiting until late-July to lodge’ as featured in our recent media release and social media posts.
    • The ATO will continue to remind taxpayers and agents that we see increased incorrect information on early lodgments, and that there is a high likelihood of having returns adjusted, or refunds delayed, when lodging before all income has been reported.
    • Updated ATO website content published for crypto and protective items during COVID, as well as support information for your practice.
    • The Tax professionals newsletter will feature a summary of things to know this tax time in addition to articles on fuel tax credit rate reduction, the employee share scheme, asset depreciation, and Medicare levy adjustment.
    • The tax time welcome video featuring ATO Assistant Commissioner Sylvia Gallagher is now available. The video outlines key tax time changes and promotes the many channels available to support and keep agents up to date.

    Small Business

    • No exceptions to report. Currently monitoring the potential impact of recent flooding events on the upcoming business activity statement due date for impacted population.

    Member comments

    • A member queried whether the ATO followed national or state decisions for emergencies.

    The ATO confirmed that we’re guided by the national declaration, while still being mindful of state decisions. The ATO highlighted that there has been a focus on communicating how people can reach out and seek support if they need assistance.

    • A member highlighted the challenges of navigating multiple emergencies and the potential impact on the small business population, suggesting the ATO consider the engagement approach.

    The ATO acknowledged the issue and suggestion and will take the item offline to discuss with the relevant stakeholders.

    Lodge and Pay

    • No exceptions or issues to report, there has been a decrease in engagement activity reflecting the tax time period. This activity should resume in late August.

    Individuals

    • No issues or exceptions to report.

    Superannuation and employer obligations

    • No exceptions or issues to report.

    Pre-call SMS campaigns

    Following the recent commencement of a pre-call SMS campaign pilot members were advised:

    • The pilot was initiated as part of improving the client experience, intended to improve the first contact engagement rate, and in turn the efficiency in the processing of work items.
    • The pilot is showing good results in the early stages, no complaints have been received and the engagement has increased significantly.
    • The ATO recognises that there is illegitimate activity that does utilise techniques to infiltrate and mask identity. The ATO has actively worked with internal and external stakeholders to understand and put in place controls to mitigate the risks.
    • The ATO reminded about the information we have available on ato.gov.au about scams and what information we will, or won't ask for via email or SMS.

    Member issues and insights

    Reported issues

    • A member reported receipt of an email that was addressed to a client, advising that they could lodge online (promoting this service). The client was registered with the agent and even acknowledging the communication preferencing aspect, they are not a self-preparer and shouldn’t have received the message.

    The ATO confirmed that there are several processes in place to select the correct self-preparer population and to mitigate clients of agents, or agents themselves, receiving correspondence. There may be exceptions, however members were requested to send any examples to the TPSG mailbox for further investigation.

    New issues

    • No additional issues were raised by members.
    • Members were reminded to submit their nomination to be a TPSG member.

    Useful links and resources

    Last modified: 12 Jul 2022QC 70048