Sunday, February 3, 2013

tax office help an oxymoron

The lovely JJ (a Registered Div1 nurse in the Philippines) has come to stay in Frankston for a few months while she brushes up on her English at Chisholm TAFE.

As she is here on a student visa, she is allowed to work 20 hours per week.

Best get a TFN ASAP says I, visiting the ATO website and hoping to do the deed online. JJ does not drive and has no car but, because she has a passport and visa number does not need to apply personally for ID purposes.

And so I progress from page A to B to C and back again as the ATO website takes me round in a loop. Okay, so if you do what you always did you will get what you always got, but when I travelled in the loop three times more it was just to confirm the doing what I always did part.

No mind, there is a 1300 number we can call and speak to an operator 24/7.

The recorded message at the 1300 number offers option 1 [order forms through post] or option 2 [speak to an operator]. The second option takes one to a lot of recorded waffle designed to encourage use of online services – then suggests if one really wishes to talk to an operator one must call during normal business hours.

It almost makes sense [morally bankrupt as it is] for government to make Senna Link’s systems impenetrable. At least it will save government from haemorrhaging money.

Making the tax office system impenetrable seems decidedly stupid.


  1. The ATO website is even impenetrable to those who work there ... so I'm thinking a 'help' desk probably won't!!

    1. The various tax acts themselves are impenetrable. Oh, wait, GR knows every hole in them. He he.

  2. ... haha and hoho, she probably helped draft them!! Strange that a staggeringly large ATO 'taskforce' has been working on various gov't 'promises' to 'simplify' the tax system for years! Who knew??!!

    1. She doesn't help draft them... she dictates them.