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What to do if ATO calls you for tax audit or repayment of debt

Recently the ATO has been bombarded with a lot of tax returns, around 810,000 returns have been lodged, which 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 of the income tax bracket. However, there is also a spike in the Tax Audit Scams, in the last financial year, the ATO reported that there were 114,000 reports of tax scams, and up to 2.8 million reported losses.

In the following video, John from EndureGo Tax will explain to you how to protect yourself from tax audit scams, and what are the new tax scam methods.

If you do receive emails from ATO or My.gov.au asking you to provide bank details 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 to arrest you, ask you to 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 tax scams nowadays involves impersonating ATO staff, he/she will call the taxpayer, identifying them as from ATO, and ask 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 their fair share of the deduction in the next year’s tax return.

It is important to remember that if you encounter a complicated tax issue, please do not second guess the possible ways to deal with it, but rather get a confirmation from the Commissioner of the Australian Taxation Office, as it will protect you from interest and shortfall tax penalty.

If you have any specific questions about taxation issues, feel free to give me a call at 0410-829-900, or email me at jc@endurego.com, thank you.