ICAA maintains the rage

THE Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA) has launched a ‘compo kit’ to help its members lodge claims for defective administration by the Australian Tax Office.

This is the latest step in the ICAA’s six-month campaign to improve tax administration.

A poll of ICAA members found that 73 per cent were not satisfied with the amount of progress made by the tax office.

ICAA chief executive Stephen Harrison said the cost of defective administration should be borne by taxpayers and the decision-making process for defective administration claims should be more transparent.

The Tax Ombudsman reported that 2,600 complaints were received in 2001-02. Of these only 1,000 were investigated and almost half of these were deemed the result of defective administration.

“It is therefore surprising to find the ATO reported only 180 payments made under the Defective Tax Administration Scheme for the same period, with no evidence presented as to the total applications made,” Mr Harrison said.

“This is why the ICAA has taken action by releasing its defective tax administration claim kit.

“The kit will educate our members on their rights to claim compensation under existing ATO schemes.”

Australia’s second peak accounting body, CPA Australia, has continued its more conciliatory stance on tax administration.

“We maintain the most effective approach is to work with the ATO, rather than agitate through the media,” CPA chief executive Greg Larsen said.

“We know the system has some significant difficulties. However, there is still no magic wand to fix the problems, which are essentially computer system related.”

CPA also rejected any idea that members ‘work to regulations’, a threat the ICAA said was still on the table.

A poll of ICAA members found that 60 per cent were not in favour of implementing that option at the current time.

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