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A quick guide to ATO Community answers

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Community Manager

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When you’re working out your tax and super, you want to make sure you make the right decision. Based on your feedback, we’ve developed this guide to explain icons you’ll find on our Community to help you do just that.

 

ATO Certified

A single Google search can return millions of results on tax obligations, superannuation, small business reporting and managing your student loans - but how do you decide what information is right?

 

We use the ‘ATO-certified’ tag to help you identify technically correct information:

 atocertified posts front page.pngATO-certified tag on front page

solution-in-thread.pngATO-certified tag within a post

 Responses that have been ‘ATO-Certified’ have been reviewed by our Support team and:

  • Provide the best possible information to help answer the question
  • Are clear and easy to read
  • Don’t contain financial advice and
  • Have links to useful content at https://ato.gov.au

What does this mean for you? You can use ATO-certified answers to help you make decisions and manage your tax affairs – just remember to check what date the answer was posted and check our website to make sure it’s current and applies to your situation.

If you’re not sure that the information in the answer covers your situation, seek the advice of a registered tax practitioner or contact us with specific details about your circumstances.

 

Solved

A ‘solved’ tick shows that someone – either the original poster or our Support team – feels that the reply answers the question or solves the problem. You don’t need to wait for us – if someone posts a reply that answers your question, hit that green “Solved” button to let them know they helped! You can usually see it just below the title of the post on the right, or in the teal banner at the top of the answering post.

 

 solved front page.pngSolved tag on post

Our Support team checks all ‘solved’ questions to make sure that the answers are technically correct and to add an ‘ATO Certified’ where they can, but you should always keep in mind that your situation may be different.

Knowledge base articles

Knowledge Base articles contain information certified by the ATO on a specific topic, usually drawn from member questions, comments or responses. Knowledge Base articles can also be written by Community Support, Community Moderator or a Community Manager if we see that certain topics are causing confusion amongst members.

 

If you spot any out-of-date articles or think we need to clarify some points in our Knowledge Base, or if you just have a suggestion for a new one, let us know by sending us an email.

 

Answering your questions

Our Community is your Community – we love reading your questions and seeing you help each other out! Where we can, we try to wait a little while to see what answers Community members are able to provide one another without us stepping in.

 

If we see questions with incorrect information, or where other members haven’t been able to provide a response, we’ll try to get back to you within 24 hours during the business week.

Sometimes, we need to ask specialist areas for help to make sure you get a full, complete answer – when this happens, we’ll usually post a quick message to let you know that we expect to get back to you soon.

 

Tailored advice

We do our best to make sure that everyone has all the information they need to make decisions about their tax and super affairs – but we’re here to provide general information.

 

Please remember that we can’t answer any questions about your personal tax account (including how any returns or other documents are progressing). We take the safety of your personal information very seriously, and we advise against sharing private information in a public forum.

 

If you need to discuss something sensitive, or if you’d rather not ask something here on Community, there’s a range of different ways you can contact us – by phone, live chat, social media and by post.

 

If you need advice tailored to your specific circumstances, you can:

  • Search for registered tax practitioners who have the experience you need to answer your questions. You can find practitioners near you by searching the register on the Tax Practitioners Board website.
  • Contact our Early engagement team – specialists who can help answer complex tax technical questions by phone or email. We try to get back to you within a few days of receiving your request.
  • Write to us to request a private ruling. Private rulings are written advice from us that applies tax law to your situation. It’s a free service, and we usually reply within 28 days.

 

Thanks for joining us!

3 REPLIES

Devotee Registered Tax Practitioner

Replies 0

Hi @AmandaE  -  could I also suggest that users asking questions think carefully about their Subject Line and include a clear topic. For example, instead of just a single word, such as "Redundancy" (which could cover many things), say "Employment Termination Payments and Redundancy". This would make it easier for others in the Forum to reply with their advice.

 

Kym Yeoward CPA, Darwin

Superuser Registered Tax Practitioner

Replies 1

@AmandaE

 

Are answers on the ATO Community to be based solely on tax law?

 

By reference, to the post on initial repairs I took a somewhat practical approach and suggested that a tax accountant be approached.

 

The Financial Review used to ask some 10 Tax Agents to prepare a reasonably simple individual tax return.

There were different answers - some were wrong but often an Agent ,makes a judgement call.

 

In another post, I suggested that a Quantity Surveyor be engaged.

This once again was a practical response where one is acting in the best interests of the taxpayer and providing beneficial information to a wider community.

 

Any Comments would be appreciated.

 

Duncan.

 

 

 

 

  

Community Manager

Replies 0

Hi @DuncanS

 

Great question! We administer tax and super law, but we know that sometimes the best outcome might be resolved by working with other agencies, industries or professionals. 

 

If the best outcome for someone means we need to ask them to contact another government agency, or as you suggested, to talk with a surveyor to work out the value of a property, we will make sure we provide this information and we'd absolutely support you doing this as well. 

 

However, we don't support off-topic enquiries on our board, and we can't allow people to solicit work or provide financial services in line with the rest of our moderation guidelines. So if you think it's in the member's best interest to suggest they see a surveyor, we're 100% on board; if you were to tell someone to see a particular business, we'd ask you to review and possibly remove your post. 

 

Hopefully that all makes sense! Thanks for checking in - we value and appreciate your thoughts and feedback Smiley Happy 

 

Thanks, @AmandaE

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