As of 1 October 2015 Online Accounting and Taxation Solutions has changed name to Affinitas Accounting, you have now been redirected to the new page.

Beware of Tax Time Scams

Taxpayers need to watch out for fraudsters who use tax time as an opportunity to extort money and personal information from unsuspecting victims. The ATO has warned that tax scams spike at this time of year.

Assistant ATO Commissioner Kath Anderson said most Australian taxpayers expected some form of interaction with the ATO during tax time and scammers would try to use this to their advantage.

Assistant ATO Commissioner Kath Anderson said most Australian taxpayers expected some form of interaction with the ATO during tax time and scammers would try to use this to their advantage.

Last year the ATO received more than 81,000 scams reports, with more than $2.4 million being paid to scammers and almost 10,000 people providing their personal information. Just under half these reports were received during tax time.

Ms Anderson said the most common scam was still the “fake tax debt” phone scam, but the “fake refund” or “refund for a fee” scams also were on the increase. The fraudsters also ran email and SMS scams enticing people to click a hyperlink, download a file or open an attachment and divulge personal information.

Ms Anderson said knowing how scammers worked was an important part of protecting yourself.

“Scammers are aiming to make money and use a range of tactics. They may get money up front by pressuring you into paying a fake debt or by tricking you into paying a fee to have a refund released,” she said.

“They may also get you to click on a link to divulge your login, personal or financial information, or to download a file or open an attachment which enables them to access your data. Once they have your data, they can either sell it or use it to impersonate you for financial gain.”

Ms Anderson said scammers frequently claimed to be from the ATO and she warned people to be wary of any phone call, text message, email, or letter about a tax refund or debt – especially if you were not expecting it.

The ATO regularly sends emails and text messages and makes lots of phone calls each week but there are some tell-tale signs that the caller was not from the ATO.

Ms Anderson said the ATO would not:

  • use aggressive or rude behaviour, or threaten you 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 isn’t either 092-009 or 093-003;
  • request a fee in order to release a refund owed to you; or
  • email or SMS you asking you to click on a link to provide login, personal or financial information, or to download a file or open an attachment.

But there are some simple safeguards:

  • Know your tax affairs – you can log into myGov to check your tax affairs at any time, or you can contact your tax agent or the ATO;
  • Guard your personal and financial information – be careful when clicking on links, downloading files or opening attachments. Only give your personal information to people you trust, and try not to share it on social media;
  • If you are unsure about whether a call, text message or email is genuine, do not reply. Call the ATO on 1800 008 540;
  • Talk to your family and friends about scams. And if you or someone you know has fallen victim to a tax related scam, contact the ATO as soon as you can.

The ATO has a dedicated phone line for reporting scammers: 1800 008 540.

Further information on how to protect yourself is available through here.

Are you a risk to yourself? Take the ATO’s scams quiz to find out.

If you think you’re being scammed, contact us today for help. Call us on 3359 5244 or email .

Need friendly advice? Talk to our staff today about how we can help your business succeed.

Subscribe to Affinitas Accounting's newsletter for our latest updates, tips of the trade in your email inbox.

  • I’ve been dealing with Affinitas Accounting for about 3 years now and I have found them to be nothing but friendly and helpful. I’m a Bookkeeper and on occasions have been stuck with various accounting problems. Affinitas have not hesitated to spend time with me until the problem was solved. Any queries or questions have always been answered in a timely manner.

  • I highly recommend coming here for all your tax needs! They explain everything you need to know about tax thoroughly and go about there jobs professionally, always leave here with a cheery smile and satisfaction.

  • Affinitas Accounting has been so helpful with the restructure of my business. They made it an easy process and explained it in a language that was easy to understand. My ongoing tax and gst is all prepared by them, they’ve really taken the stress out of it all to let me focus on growing my business.

  • Tax Accountant & Financial Advisor Brisbane - Affinitas Accounting
    Rebecca & Russel Johns

    Since moving to Affinitas Accounting we have a clear understanding of companies and trusts. We have no hesitation in saying the team here will meet and then exceed your expectations! I never feel like i am annoying them. Thank you Team Affinitas

  • Tax Accountant & Financial Advisor Brisbane - Affinitas Accounting
    Paul Maclaine

    Affinitas has looked after all our financial needs for our business and personal tax returns. We have been with our accountant for 10+ years. I have no hesitation in recommending Affinitas to anyone looking for an accountant or any financial advise. We have always found and received friendly professional and practical advise.

  • For the past 6 years, Tammy has been lodging our tax. The team always spend the time to explain how things will affect us and always manage to maximise our returns. We highly recommend the team to anyone we speak to and have had friends move to do their future tax with the team at affinities accounting. Couldn’t recommend them highly enough.

  • Tax Accountant & Financial Advisor Brisbane - Affinitas Accounting
    Kirsty Whittaker

    I’ve been using Deb from Affinitas Accounting now for many years and have found her to be excellent in looking after my taxation needs. I’m in Tasmania, Affinitas Accounting is in Queensland and distance is no barrier. She understands my business needs, everything is done in a friendly and efficient manner and I happily recommend to anyone looking for ‘down to earth’ taxation advice.

  • Tax Accountant & Financial Advisor Brisbane - Affinitas Accounting
    David Williams

    We’ve been with Affinitas Accounting for over 5yrs when they were known as Online Accounting & Taxation Solutions. From our initial phone call with Brad looking for an accounting team that would meet our expectations as well as provide efficient service, we’ve been really impressed with the team’s professionalism, knowledge & expertise.

  • Tax Accountant & Financial Advisor Brisbane - Affinitas Accounting
    Allyson O'Connell

    Debbie is our accountant and has been for seven years. She is thorough and always does what she can to honestly get us the best return but always adheres to the ATO guidelines. We recommend her to our friends and wouldn’t take our business to anyone else. Thanks Debbie.

  • We have only been with Affinitas Accounting for the past 12 months but in this time they have by far exceeded our expectations of an accountant and far surpassed previously used accountants.
    Affinitas are not just about annual returns, BAS statements etc, they take the time to get to know you enabling them to provide advise to help you work toward personal & business goals.

  • Tax Accountant & Financial Advisor Brisbane - Affinitas Accounting
    Mark D’Andrea

    Can’t fault Affinitas.

    Have been coming here for years (when it was then called online tax). Deb has been happy to always go the extra mile and doesn’t mind dispensing helpful advice throughout the year.

  • Tax Accountant & Financial Advisor Brisbane - Affinitas Accounting
    Deagon Fixing

    I have been a client of Affinitas Accounting (previously Online) for the past 8 years. It is like a one stop shopping experience, all my needs were addressed in the one office.

    Thanks Affinitas you for all your assistance and I would strongly recommend them to anyone to use

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.