Government agencies, in a bi-partisan manner regarding which Minister ‘owns’ it, venture forth to collect debts - this for back taxes - without including the what, why, or anything else in tone deaf letters.
Seems some rot or serious over-employment in the ATO this time that has filtered out common sense in communications regardless if one thinks what is being done should be done.
The report suggests some debts are for cents in the dollar. In ordinary compliance filling out a tax return accepts only whole dollar amounts and ignores the cents after the decimal. Odd that any debt should be less than a whole dollar amount.
Exceptions being what they are an amended tax return once left me with a small extra tax payment due. The difference between what had been paid and what was owed - cents in the dollar. Impossible to pay by regular electronic transfer to the ATO. Perhaps a cheque would suffice at great expense to provide and the ATO to process. I chuckled as I discovered the debt due for less than the price of a small ice cream could be paid in person over the counter at the post office.
One would expect the ATO if intent on collecting such amounts would as they did for me issue a proper notice of the amount due at the time, We seem to be missing some details of what transpired in the past. Similar for those who may have received a letter, although?
A couple of days ago I got a mysterious $4.80 credit from the Tax Office. There was absolutely no information with it, just a silent credit to my bank account. Totally unexpected, because I had paid the precise assessed amount of tax owing. So I logged on to MyGov to check for any ATO messages explaining it, but there was nothing.
Presumably, the 2022-23 assessment was out by that amount, and it happened to be in my favour.
Or maybe this was a historical mistake, only now coming to light?
Have ATO’s tax-calculation algorithms been inaccurate all along, and has that only now been realised / acknowledged, hence the RoboTax exercise?
So far we’ve only heard of Robotax demands for payment, because obviously it’s more important to grab any amounts, however small, that were mistakenly not requested at the time.
But could some taxpayers get Robotax credits eventually?