Australian Tax Office Scams Are Rampant
Rede Accountants Gold Coast, Brisbane & Byron Bay
You may have encountered a surprise call from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) about owing a tax debt. The caller says that the police will arrive any moment unless you agree to pay the debt.
You rack your brain but you can’t seem to remember any outstanding tax debts and besides, you have always received tax refunds. However, the call is from the ATO so you think to yourself, I must owe money.
You may have also received an email or a text indicating you have a refund owed to you from the Australian Tax Office. This states that you merely need to click on the link and provide your bank details to receive your refund.
Nonetheless, the majority of these calls, emails and texts are in fact clever Australian Tax Office SCAMS designed to rob you of money.
For the unwary, they are dangerous calls to receive and often difficult to handle. If in doubt, hang up or delete the email/text.
- The ATO will not threaten you, other than to ask you for a payment plan if you do owe taxes. They would also have written to you previously.
- The Police are NOT coming. Tax debts are a civil matter rather than a criminal matter. Unless you have been convicted in a court, you cannot be arrested by the police for owing tax.
- The call you are most likely receiving is from a call centre located in Europe or Africa.
- The ATO will provide some form of identification and/or a callback number if asked. This may be difficult to comprehend. You should check the callback number is a genuine tax office phone number.
- The ATO DO NOT accept payment of debts in the form of gift vouchers or Bitcoin.
- A genuine ATO call will generally not ask you for your bank details or tax file number. You should not disclose these details over the phone or via email or text.
- If in doubt, look at your tax situation on your MYGOV account and/or contact your tax agent. DO NOT PAY unless you have reliable third party evidence.
If you have any further questions about Australian Tax Office scams or require any other accounting advice, please contact us here.