Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Taxation Office Computer System Problems

Some months ago I received a letter from the Australian Taxation Office t(ATO) elling me I had to make quarterly "Pay as you go" payments. That did not come as a surprise, but what was curious was that the ATO said they had been unable to contact me, as they did not have my current address. I have been at the same address, submitting tax returns and getting replies from the ATO for years. Clearly they had my address previously and I have not , so they must have lost the address. I telephone the tax office to ask why they had lost my address, but did not get an explanation. I paid the full amount requested for the year and did not expect to hear any more about it.

However, this week I received a request for another payment of PAYG for the next quarter. Given I had already paid the full amount for the year, I can't see why I have been sent another quarterly request for payment.

Recently the ATO installed a new computer system and there were some reports of problems. It may be that the new system lost my address and can't keep track of what I have paid. If this is happening to other taxpayers it has the potential to seriously undermine confidence in the taxation system.

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