WA consumers are being warned to be alert to tax scams which are usually prevalent in the months before and after the end of the financial year. Victims are cold-called by scammers claiming to be from the tax office demanding that a bogus tax debt must be paid immediately – otherwise they will face arrest. The majority of tax scam reports are received in the six month period from April to September so taxpayers are urged to be vigilant during this time.
So Consumer Protection gives us some advice to protect ourselves over The End of Financial Year:
- The ATO makes thousands of outbound calls to taxpayers every week, but would never contact you about a debt in a threatening manner. Nor would the ATO demand that you load money onto a prepay card at the post office, ask you to send funds via money transfer services or pay by iTunes vouchers. ATO methods of payment can be found at ato.gov.au/howtopay
- If the ATO does call to discuss payment of an outstanding debt, they will give you the opportunity to query the outstanding debt with your accountant, other advisers or family
- You can always check your myGov account which has real time tax information available, including any outstanding amounts
- If you have been contacted by the ATO and want to confirm the legitimacy of the contact, take note of the caller’s name and details and then call the ATO on 1800 008 540. Most importantly, never send money or give financial details to someone you don’t know or trust.
- Information and advice on scams is available on the WA ScamNet website scamnet.wa.gov.au. Enquiries can be made to Consumer Protection by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1300 30 40 54.
Have a listen to the segment below: