The ATO has warned taxpayers to be on high alert for tax-related scams, especially around tax time.

ATO warns taxpayers of scams around tax times

The ATO said that the most common scam is the “fake tax debt” phone scam, while there is also an increase in “fake refund” or “refund for a fee” scams, and email and SMS scams enticing people to click a hyperlink, download a file or open an attachment. It is also concerned about people handing over personal or financial information.

Taxpayers are reminded that the ATO will not:

  • use aggressive or rude behaviour, or threaten them with arrest, jail or deportation
  • request payment of a debt via iTunes, pre-paid visa cards, cryptocurrency or direct credit to a bank account with a BSB that is not either 092-009 or 093-003
  • request a fee in order to release a refund owed to them, or
  • email or SMS taxpayers asking them to click on a link to provide login, personal or financial information, or to download a file or open an attachment.

The ATO also provided the following key tips for taxpayers:

  • know their tax affairs – taxpayers can log into myGov to check their tax affairs at any time, or contact their tax agent or the ATO
  • guard their personal and financial information – be careful when clicking on links, downloading files or opening attachments; only give personal information to people they trust, and try not to share it on social media
  • if they are unsure about whether a call, text message or email is genuine, do not reply. Call the ATO on 1800 008 540, and
  • talk to their family and friends about scams; call the ATO as soon as possible if they have fallen victim to a tax-related scam.

Source: ATO