It’s the beginning of a new financial year, meaning it’s an important time for you to ensure your tax affairs are in order.
Lodging your tax returns or preparing to lodge them can mean stress and panic – which means it’s the perfect time for scammers to strike and deceive innocent tax payers to give out important personal details and information.
At this time of year, there is an increase in tax scammers pursuing personal information from unsuspecting victims, with the Australian Taxation Office receiving over 81,000 scam reports last year. The type of information that these tax scammers seek out includes Tax File Numbers, banking details, date of birth and other information that can result in you being scammed out of hundreds, or even thousands of dollars.
These scammers use differing tactics as a means of gaining such information, such as threatening immediate arrests or fines, as well as quoting official sounding legislation and using ATO branding on their emails to appear as legitimate as possible. They also send out direct emails and text messages asking you pay your ‘outstanding debts’ or send them your personal details, and if you fail to do so you will be fined or immediately arrested.
These techniques are clear signs of a false request and should be reported immediately.
The ATO would never use such threatening or abusive tactics as a means of getting tax payers to pay their taxes. They will also never send direct emails or text messages asking you to send your tax file number or any other personal details.
In saying that, if you ever receive something suspicious, being an email or a text message claiming that they are from the ATO, delete it immediately and contact your accountant or ATO, regardless of how official it may look or sound.
Additionally, never give out personal information or details, especially your tax file number or banking details, over an email or a text message.
The new financial year establishes the perfect hunting group for tax scams, so be vigilant.
If you receive such a request, telephone call or email, please get in touch with our team here at MKS Group to assist with keeping you safe and compliant.
MKS Group Pty Ltd
03 9374 8400