• 4. Treatments for underperforming agents

    Meeting discussion

    At the August and October 2014 meetings the treatments for underperforming agents was briefly covered.

    The intent of this agenda item was to co-design with the forum the strategy for managing agents whose on-time performance has been less than 40% over a number of years.

    There are a number of treatments applied where the on-time performance is below standard and they are aligned to the level of on-time compliance. The Lodgment program framework treatments recognise that most agents do the right thing or are trying to do the right thing; therefore most treatments are ‘light to medium touch’ and offer education and assistance. Firmer treatment is applied where all other interventions have failed to positively influence the on-time lodgment behaviour of the tax agent.

    The proposed strategy was tabled for discussion with attendees analysing the profile of the tax agents including their on-time lodgment patterns and ‘unpacking’ the various components of the strategy.

    In summary:

    • The selected agents have previously been targeted for various ATO intervention strategies, such as the Guided Lodgment Program, and have continued to display poor on-time (less than 40%) lodgment behaviours. Collectively the selected agents have clients with 7,463 income tax returns outstanding.
    • The strategy will include an opportunity for the practitioner to work with the ATO in the first instance, in the event this doesn’t occur the subsequent actions include directly contacting the clients of these agents and/or in the most extreme circumstances the loss of the lodgment program concessional due dates.
    • Attendees agreed that the strategy and the publicity around the strategy has the potential to influence other underperforming tax agents in the practitioner community.
    • Practitioner attendees noted that all client contact must be to the clients directly (not their agent), to ensure the client is aware of their outstanding obligations.
    • There was consensus to commence the strategy prior to the end of the financial year and to keep stakeholders such as the Professional Associations and the Tax Practitioners’ Board informed and updated on the progress.

    The strategy will be a standing agenda item for subsequent meetings.

    Reference

    LWG 1902/05

    Agenda Topic

    Treatments for underperforming agents

    Action item

    The strategy for underperforming agents is a standing agenda item.

    Responsibility

    LWG Secretariat

      Last modified: 26 Nov 2015QC 47406