September 21, 2016

Scam Alert – Tax Time Is The Perfect Time For Scams

Scam Alert – Tax Time Is The Perfect Time For Scams Yet again, the ATO is warning tax payers against fraudsters attempting to scam them by posing as ATO representatives. In 2015 almost 87,000 phone and email scams were reported to the ATO, an increase of over 90 per cent from 2014. From January to May this year, the ATO has received over 40,500 phone scam reports. Of these, 226 Australians handed over $1.2 million to fraudsters and over 1900 gave out some form of personal information, including tax file numbers. Assistant Commissioner Mr Graham Whyte said that while most people were able to identify scams, it is important to remain alert during tax time. “Most Australians are pretty good at catching fraudsters in the act. This is clear from the amount of scams reported to us compared to the number of people handing over money and personal information,” Mr Whyte […]
September 21, 2016

Another Timely Warning Against Identity Theft

Another Timely Warning Against Identity Theft The ATO is reminding Australians to protect themselves against identify theft this tax time. Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte said identity theft was more common during tax time because of the large number of people lodging tax returns. “With the amount of personal information being exchanged at tax time, it is a prime opportunity for fraudsters,” Mr Whyte said. “Highly organised crime networks use a range of methods to steal personal information in order to commit refund fraud.” In 2014-15, 32,110 cases of identity theft were reported to the ATO. Of these, 22,200 were reported during the peak processing months from July to November. Over the same period, 677 incidents of identity crime relating to refund fraud were dealt with by the ATO. Mr Whyte said there are a number of ways Australians can protect themselves against identity theft and refund fraud. It can be […]
September 21, 2016

Tax Scheme Sound too good to be true? It probably is!

Tax Scheme Sound too good to be true? It probably is! The ATO has launched Project Super Scheme Smart, an initiative aimed at educating advisers and individuals about the potential pitfalls of retirement planning schemes. The ATO has had considerable success to date in shutting down tax avoidance schemes but recently has seen an increase in schemes designed specifically to target those approaching retirement. “Retirement planning is a critical and exciting time in people’s lives as they work out how they’ll manage their finances after they leave the workforce. For many, they rely heavily on the advice of financial planners, accountants, and other advisers. “Unfortunately, promoters of these risky schemes are aware of the role that advisers play at this critical time and are targeting advisers to get their assistance in recommending schemes to clients,” Mr Cranston said. According to the ATO, people most at risk of being targeted are those […]
September 21, 2016

ATO Targets Dodgy Tax Deductions

ATO Targets Dodgy Tax Deductions With over eight million Australians claiming work-related expenses each year, Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte from the ATO is reminding people to make sure they get their deductions right this tax time. “Australians claim over $21 billion in work-related expenses each year, and we want to support taxpayers to claim what they are entitled to – no more, no less,” Mr Whyte said. “Most Australians want to do the right thing, but we are seeing mistakes, and while the amounts at an individual level are relatively small, collectively the overall impact is significant. That’s why, it is important for people to get their deductions right. “From time to time we see people deliberately making incorrect claims. We’ve seen claims for car expenses where log books have been made up and claims for self-education expenses where invoices were supplied for conferences that the taxpayer never attended. “Deliberately […]
August 1, 2016

Is it a scam? How to check if that caller or message is really from the ATO.

The sophistication of scams currently targeting Australians is increasing and we came across the following article from the ATO which we wanted to share with you as a reminder to stay vigilant. Story: You get a phone call. The caller says they’re from the ATO. They want you to pay a debt (which you know nothing about), or are asking for your personal details. But it doesn’t seem quite right. Maybe the caller: is aggressive threatens that if you don’t pay you will be arrested and sent to jail, or tries to make you call another number outside normal business hours. Or maybe you have received an email or SMS offering you a tax refund or asking for personal details, but it just smells wrong. What to do if you think it is a scam? You need to check it out. If you get a phone call, ask the caller […]