Tax scams catching out the unwary

July 2015 

ATO warns taxpayers about scams

A number of sophisticated tax scams has the ATO warning taxpayers to be aware of how they follow up on outstanding tax debts.

The ATO has warned taxpayers to be way of sophisticated and at times aggressive tax scams around tax time. Understandably for those with outstanding tax debt, these calls can cause concern.

How are scammers targeting tax payers?

This time around, the scammers are phoning and claiming to be from the prosecutions department of the ATO.  They then state that they believe you have committed fraud and the Sheriff's Office has been called.  You can of course make this all go away by transferring cash using the details they provide or by giving your details to them.  All of it is fake. 

There are a number of variations to this fake arrest warrant scam. In some cases a message is left on an answering machine obliging the person to call back.  If you receive a call like this, by all means, hang up the let us know so that Bates Cosgrave can contact the ATO on your behalf to verify there are no known issues. 

Report scammers

The alternative is to report scammers. Get as much detail as you can from the caller without giving away your information, such as phone numbers, supposed section of the ATO, the name of the person who called etc. then contact your accountant or the ATO. 

Get as many details as possible without giving any information away (e.g. phone numbers, supposed section of the ATO, name of the person calling, etc.,) and pass them onto us. Once again we'll verify with the ATO and report any known details about the scam for further investigation.

If you are contacted by email by the ATO or a group purporting to represent the ATO, you can forward these emails directly to the ATO via

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This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.

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