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Investigating the Australian Taxation Office’s Administration in dealing with Deceased Estates

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Commenced on 31 October 2019, the Inspector–General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman is now reviewing the way in which the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) manages the taxation of deceased estates.

The terms of reference are available at the Inspector-General’s website.  Concerns raised to date include:

  • A lack of acknowledgment from the ATO following notification of the death of a taxpayer;
  • difficulties or delays obtaining a deceased estate tax file number;
  • inconsistent steps for executors to provide their identity to access information, which is made more challenging in instances where the taxpayer died intestate (without a will);
  • inconsistent advice and requirements to obtain probate or letters of administration;
  • inability to appoint registered tax practitioners or solicitors as authorised contacts;
  • difficulties or delays in accessing taxpayer information for the purposes of finalising taxpayer and deceased estate trust returns; and
  • denial of access to the ATO Portals.

The review is welcomed and hopefully will build on improvements made by the ATO to the tax administration for deceased’s estate further streamlining and improving the administration of the tax laws and systems for deceased estates in Australia.

Submissions can be made to the Inspector-General of Taxation until 6 December 2019.

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