• Refund fraud

    Refund fraud occurs when people dishonestly claim refunds, rebates or offsets they aren't entitled to. This can happen in a range of ways, from claiming fictitious expenses, to creating false documentation to support a claim.

    Some individuals lodge fraudulent claims in their own name or for their business; others lodge a claim on behalf of another person. Identity crime related to refund fraud is an increasing problem, with stolen identities used to lodge false income tax returns and activity statements with the aim of fraudulently getting refunds.

    Highly organised crime networks use a range of methods to steal personal information in order to commit fraud. These activities have devastating impacts on legitimate individual taxpayers and the tax system.

    The types of refund fraud that we detect and deal with include:

    • understating income or providing fictitious payment summary details, or both
    • providing false information in a business activity statement to make false refund claims
    • lodging large numbers of fraudulent returns using false or stolen identities
    • GST claims made through fraudulent business registrations or using false or stolen identities.

    Refund fraud cheats the whole community and disadvantages Australians who do the right thing. We take it very seriously, and we have a range of controls and systems in place to detect potential refund fraud, including:

    • analytical models that use behavioural and statistical algorithms to analyse information on income tax returns, business activity statements and other tax forms
    • sharing data and intelligence with our partner agencies
    • obtaining information about suspected fraud from the community and other government agencies.

    See also:

    Last modified: 03 Aug 2015QC 33610