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  • Refund fraud

    Refund fraud is claiming a tax refund by providing false information to us. It is more than carelessness, accidental or an error as it is undertaken in a deceitful manner. This can occur in a number of ways, from creating fictitious expenses to creating false documentation to support a claim. Some individuals lodge fraudulent claims in their own name or for their business.

    Refund fraud is also enabled by identity crime when personal identity information is stolen and used to impersonate legitimate tax payers and lodge fraudulent refund claims in their names.

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

    Refund fraud affects both income tax and GST and includes:

    • providing fictitious payment summary or income statement details or fictitious expense claims or offsets on income tax returns and amendments
    • providing false information in statements such as fictitious expenses
    • 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 is stealing from 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: 11 Jul 2019QC 33610