Got a letter from the ATO last monday - I'm apparently overdue on a tax return and three BAS statements. Huh? Don't I pay a guy for this? It turns out the income tax return was for when I was out of the country, so I just needed to go through and tell them via their website that I wasn't obligated to file. They wanted me to go clear back to 2001, and while I don't actually know what their capacity for enforcing that is (I'm under the impression they can only go back 7 years or so?) I did it anyway just to clean it up.

Tried to get ahold of our accountant, and he's not answering his phone. Can't get ahold of him at all, and when I log into the ATO website the accountant's postal address was listed as the postal address for my account, so that's why this is the first notice I'm getting even though the first one is 6 months late. I went through and filed this year's income tax return as well, since it's looking pretty clear the accountant isn't going to do it. I had thought about going in to town to see if I could find another accountant, but the forms all look pretty easy (compared to a US 1040, anyway), particularly the BAS forms. My accounting software all but fills it in for you, and this guy was charging me $70 to do it... why bother?

After multiple attempts and phone calls, I still can't file my BASes through the personal tax portal. I get an unspecified error that the people at the ATO reckon they've fixed twice now, but to no avail. My second last phone call they recommended I tried the business portal, but when I investigated that it requires a Java plugin and doesn't support Chrome. I don't want to install Firefox just for taxes and I'm certainly, under no circumstances, installing Java under MSIE ever. So fuck it, the last phone call arranged for them to send me paper BAS forms and I'll mail the bloody things in.

I don't understand what shithead greenlit the AUSKey system. Let's just use Java, to re-implement private key cryptography, and make it shitty enough that Chrome is not a supported platform. Seriously, there is no part of this problem that is difficult - private key crypto (with either the ATO or My.gov being a CA) for authentication, and a form for entering numbers. I should be able to complete this task on IRIX with Netscape Navigator! Why the fuck is this so difficult?

Update: Tried again on Wednesday 2nd of December, because the BAS forms still haven't showed up and it let me file the BAS reports and pay them successfully. Now to see if the accountant has cost me any interest and penalties, and whether I can get out of them.

Horsham, VIC, Australia fwaggle

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Horsham, VIC, Australia

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