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Its great that you monitor and respond to these posts and I understand how difficult it is where it is "not illegal". And it's true the ATO does make it clear that it's free - if you know where to look. And it's true Google are to blame for allowing the promotion of grubs.
It's not great though that you refer to the Tax Practitioners Board in a tone that infers the "regulate" "professionals". As per my prior posted notes, everyone should realise that the Tax Practitioners Board "compliance" department will do absolute nothing, despite being aware, and despite Blind Freddy seeing that Unitax is an unethical scam that the ATP actively perpetuates and thereby condones. So they don't regulate and (some of) the people they represent are not "professional". Unitax is an obvious abuse that demonstrates a lack of ethics and judgement and resolve by that Board. Countless other industries have tidied up there own standards but not, apparently, the tax industry. An industry that welcomes, condones, and counts as its member and alumni - a pack of utter grubs.
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Speaking of which, did your son end up getting his tax file number?
@KylieATO @Acctable Pretty sure that "filling in a form" - back to the same people who allows grubs to operate under their guidelines, and then dismiss the issue - is going to have precisely zero effect.
And I think you know that too.
You've helped describe exactly the problem: while people are getting scammed by a weakness in the system the ATO runs, and the TPB are "regulating" (although facts alone would question that) the solution on offer is ticking a box, and filling in a form - after that already was shown to fail. Seriously....
How about this: why don't you raise the issue at your ethics committee? Why doesn't the Chair or your Ethics Committee call their peer at the ATB and say "Look - there is a wolf in sheep clothing here. Doing the wrong thing. And we get lots of complaints about it from honest people being abused by a weakness they can see, and we can see. I think you need to investigate these Grubs and Unitax - and at a minimum - review whether they have correctly disclosed on their much credentialed website - in bold and as an active acknowledgement, that getting a TFN is free and from the ATO website (insert link). That way, if they truly are a legitimate business as defined by your industry standards, people will be happy to pay for that great service".
How hard would that be? Not hard at all.
Maybe try that instead of "filling in a form"?
Maybe help fix the known problem from within. You have the resources. That's why we pay tax in the first place.
That might just help the next victim. Wouldn't that be a great measure of success?
I just did this!! Kicking myself I did not look properly, they must pay top dollar to be at the top of the TFN search. This is so bad, I have sent them 4 emails to try to cancel this and no response, there is no phone number I can contact. My daughter is under 18 and does not need this service she just found out. Has anyone had any luck with cancelling and getting their money back or cancelling the transaction with their bank? Have I just lost $99, wonder how many people fall into this!!!
Lots of young people fall into the trap set by these grubs. Like my son, who was doing the right thing to contribute to society but was stung also. Of course, the ATO and the a Tax Practitioners Board know all about it - and show a complete ethical vacuum by doing precisely zero. It's obviously within their power to make a change, but it's easier to help perpetuate of the problem and watch the kids gets fleeced. Time and again. Every other industry knows that the ethics and intent is as important as the black letter - just not the tax grubs.
My daughter fell for this "fee for service" scam. All they did was enter the data provided to the ATO. The ATO then sent out the form to take to the Post Office for the interview and her provide documentation to complete the TFN application. This the same as if she had entered the information into the ATO site directly. My daughter will not receive a TFN unless she makes and attends a regular interview at the Post Office. So, they have not completed the work for her to receive a TFN. This is not "fee for service" as they state they will provide a TFN number - which they will never do.
I hear you. But the ATO and the Tax Practioners Board endorse this scam. Read the responses to my chain from both parties, turning a blind eye to the obvious grubs at Unitax. And so simple to fix....if they wanted to fix it.
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