Scam Emails & Phone Calls
We again warn you about the scammers targeting individuals, companies, self-managed super funds and trusts. The latest reported scams are email phishing and phone calls, stating that the sender or caller are a representative of the ATO, and request personal information from you.
Emails sent to you are most often official looking and make claims such as tax refunds are payable by completing an online form. These emails may not be captured by your junk and spam filters, adding to the pretence that they are legitimate.
IMPORTANT NOTE: THE ATO WILL NEVER PROCESS TAX REFUNDS VIA AN ONLINE FORM EMAILED TO YOU AND THEY WILL NEVER EMAIL YOU AND ASK YOU FOR YOUR PERSONAL DETAILS.
If you do receive an email from the “ATO” please delete it immediately, do not open any attachments or provide any details, or call us for assistance.
The scammers may also make phone calls to you, claiming to be a representative of the ATO. They will state that they are calling about you, your company, super fund or trust. These details are available from the public registers such as ASIC or the Australian Business Register; hence they will likely sound confident. They will then ask you for your Tax File Number (TFN) or the TFN or Australian Business Number (ABN) for your company/trust/super fund.
IMPORTANT NOTE: THE ATO WILL NEVER CALL YOU AND ASK FOR YOUR TFN OR ABN.
If you are contacted by phone and are asked these questions, simply state that if they were actually a representative of the ATO they would not need to ask this information and to contact your accountant. Again, they would have details of your accountant. Under no circumstances should you give them your personal details, including your TFN and/or ABN.
Details that you provided to these scammers are used to steal your identity, fraudulently obtain loans and bank accounts in your name, or, if attachments to emails are opened or you have clicked on a link, the scammers can infect your computers with ‘malware’ or malicious software which can monitor your web browsing and steal your personal information.
Bottom line, the scammers are savvy and have become increasingly sophisticated. If it doesn’t feel right, look right or you are unsure, leave it alone and contact us for assistance.
Over the last six months, the ATO’s attitude to non-lodgement or late lodgement of tax returns, Business Activity Statements and other tax compliance documentation has shifted from somewhat lenient to extremely strict. Their enforcement of fines, penalties and interest charges has tightened and their willingness to waive these has significantly decreased.
These tougher regimes have no doubt been brought about from the Federal Government’s budget position.
In light of this we need to work together to ensure that your tax compliance deadlines are adhered to and that we have received the necessary documentation from you well in advance of the due dates to see that your compliance requirements are met.