We classified a client of our’s as a resident for tax purposes when we lodged her return, the tax office wrote a questionnaire back to us- the objective of this?questionnaire is to assess the residency status of individuals. We worked with her to provide a full and correct response and to us it was clear that she was indeed a resident and so was indeed due a refund.
The ATO took a few months to scratch their heads…then they sent an assessment back indicating that she was not a resident for tax purposes and further more they had imposed a fine for providing misleading information on the return!
When you’ve been in our industry for a while (as we have) you get to hear about all the funny things other companies do…we constantly hear people over quoting tax refund amounts, under quoting refund times and being told that they are resident for tax purposes when they are obviously not! Because we assess our clients properly upfront it makes it easy for us to have the confidence to fight for them if the ATO make a decision like the one above.
So we took the information our client had provided and prepared an objection to the ATO’s assessment. There’s not many tax agents who would be able to fight a decision like this one, we are the specialists in this field having chosen to take a marketing leading approach to residency issues and categorization many years ago. We have constantly challenged the ATO over misleading information on their website, on their tax file declaration form and on their tax file application form too which has built our knowledge around the subject to a level far higher than the average tax agent.
Our clients case was interesting to us: she?had moved around a lot during her stay in the country and did return to the same address she departed her native country from, but she had stayed for over 183 days of the financial year. If you went purely by the ATO’s website and their residency questionnaire you could come to the conclusion that she was a non-resident for tax purposes her in Australia. However, we used our bank of knowledge and this week we received great news that our objection has been accepted in full. This?resulted in over $2500 difference in our clients pocket and has cemented more facts regarding residency and it’s grey areas which we are constantly working to clear up.
Our client was extremely pleased and commented;
“I’d just like to say thank you very much to him and I really appreciated his hard work on this complicated case”.
We work hard to ensure that we do the right thing by our clients and we fight hard for them if the tax office make incorrect assessments like the one described here- it’s very heart warming to receive such positive feedback and such a great result.