October 23, 2019
South Burnett Regional Council has to refund $322,212 to the Australian Tax Office due to a software error.
But it is still $444,788 ahead of where it could have been.
In January, Council lodged a claim for a $767,000 refund from the ATO for fuel credits it believed had been incorrectly paid for four years.
This amount was uncovered by auditors KPMG Australia who used special auditing software to analyse Council’s motor vehicle usage.
However, it now seems there was a glitch in this software.
At Wednesday’s Council meeting, Finance portfolio chair Cr Ros Heit said the ATO had re-assessed Council’s claim.
The ATO found that the software used by KPMG to analyse fuel consumption had remained turned on for six hours after a vehicle’s engine was turned off.
This led the software to conclude the engine was still using fuel, which resulted in the large retrospective fuel credit claim.
The ATO has now ordered Council refund $322,212 of its January claim.
Cr Heit said the ATO refund and slight increases in water and waste costs would increase Council’s projected 2019-20 operating deficit from $1,539,950 to $1,862,162.
KPMG was appointed as Council’s auditor by Queensland’s Auditor-General last year.
The Auditor-General appoints external accounting firms to audit the financial statements of all Queensland councils each year as part of standard measures to analyse the performance of councils, and the timeliness and quality of their financial reporting.