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Tax Office to remove cashiers.



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Press Release

Kelvin Thomson

Shadow Assistant Treasurer

Member for Wills

 

Tax Office to remove cashiers

 

Labor’s Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Kelvin Thomson, has revealed and condemned a plan by the Tax Office to close its cashier functions by January.

 

“The ATO has conducted a review of its Cashier functions following the closure of the Brisbane, St Leonards, Canberra & Geelong cashiers earlier this year,” Mr Thomson said today.

 

“The review recommended that the remaining 22 be closed. These closures will now proceed. This means that at the dawn of the new century you will no longer be able to visit the ATO and pay your taxes or I-LEGS payments, or purchase tax vouchers.

 

“The ATO is going the way of the banks and other large corporations by making itself less accessible and more impersonal. But closing face to face functions, introducing faceless electronic communication and relying on call centres is a recipe for taxpayer alienation.

 

“It appears that the closure may be in direct breach of the taxpayers’ charter which, with respect to payment of your taxes, states that:

 

'If paying in person at a Tax Office, you can pay by cash, cheque or postal money order...from 8.30am to 4.45pm Monday to Friday.'

 

“This makes a joke of the new ATO ‘Access’ scheme, beca use the closure of the cashier function and increased promotion of the call centres make it appear more like ATO ‘No Access’. It is unfair to remove the face to face options and replace them if people are not comfortable with the new system - and they are not. Public reaction to the growing trend of ATMs and call centres should warn the ATO about going down the same path.

 

“Moving processing functions out of the individual offices and centralising them will also cost jobs.

 

“The ATO should reconsider this decision while it still has time — in the interests of taxpayer confidence and job security,” Mr Thomson said.

 

For Further Information:

Kelvin Thomson MP Phone: 9350 5777 Mobile: 0419 594 882

Robert Larocca Phone: 9350 5777 Mobile: 0409 189 644

 

 

jk  1999-10-07  11:08