17 Apr 2010

Probe into Australian Tax Office bungles

4:41 pm on 17 April 2010

Computer problems at the Australian Tax Office (ATO) that have led to the bungling of 210,000 tax returns are to be officially investigated.

Assistant federal treasurer Nick Sherry told Fairfax radio on Friday that the backlog of returns had built up since late January when the ATO switched to a new computer system, and that he had asked the Inspector-General of Taxation to investigate.

Melbourne software development company boss Evan Jones told Fairfax radio on Friday that his company has been owed a tax refund of more than $150,000 since January.

He said he had been forced to lay off all his staff, and phones and faxes had been cut off, but calls to the Tax Office had only brought frustration.

Senator Sherry says the ATO has told him that it will process the backlog by the end of April and that refund cheques will be attached.

The ABC reports extra personnel have been employed in order to clear the backlog.