Recently the ATO is bombarded with a lot of tax returns, around 810,000 returns had been lodged, this is double the returns lodged in the same period last financial year. The government is attributing it to the $1080 tax offset or more refund as a result of the lowering the income tax bracket.
However, there is also a spike of Tax Scams, in last financial year, the ATO reported that there was 114,000 reports of tax scams, and up to 2.8 million of reported losses.
In the following video, John from EndureGo Tax will explain to you how to protect yourself from tax scams, and what are the new tax scam methods.
Basically, if you do receive emails from ATO or Mygov asking you to provide bank detail or tax file number to receive your refund, please do not open the email but rather call your trusted tax agent hence he or she can ring the ATO on your behalf and find out the real story.
It is also important to note that ATO will normally not call you directly, if you have a tax agent, and ATO will not threaten you to arrest you, or ask you pay up the amount immediately, or give you a bank account and ask you to put the money into that bank account.
Would you be nervous if ATO calls you to demand an immediate repayment of ATO debt
The new trend of the tax scams now day would involve a impersonating ATO staff, he/she will call the taxpayer, and identifying them as from ATO, and asking the client to provide or verify the tax agent number and phone number before they will continue the conversation, when the taxpayer provides that phone number, another impersonating tax agent will call the taxpayer, and the two of them will con the taxpayer into believing everything is real, and then the impersonating ATO will ask the taxpayer to pay the debt amount into a nominated bank account.
It is also important to note that the fee you paid to a registered tax agent would be deductible, as the registered tax agent is licensed to provide the tax advice and tax work, however, if the person who is helping your tax affair is not registered tax agent, then it is illegal for him/her to help you with the tax work, and you can not claim deduction for the fee paid. I will always give a tax invoice to all of my tax clients, hence they can claim the fair share of deduction in the next year tax return.
It is important to remember that if you encounter a complicated tax issues, please do not second guess the possible ways to deal with it, but rather get a confirmation from the Commissioner oF Australian Taxation Office, as it will protect yourself from interest and short fall tax penalty.