Fraud occurs when a person uses dishonest or deceitful means to gain a financial advantage.
This can come at the expense of unsuspecting victims ranging from intentional concealment, omission, to perversion of the truth.
In rare cases, tax agents commit fraud and may involve their clients.
If you suspect wrongdoing or believe you may be a victim of fraud, you should take the following steps:
- report the circumstances to the police
- contact the ATO Client Identity Support Centre on 1800 467 033.
If you suspect the wrongdoing involves a tax practitioner, you can also lodge a complaint with the Tax Practitioners BoardExternal Link.
We may request you to provide information such as the tax agent’s contact details, documentation provided to the tax agent, and evidence of payments made.
If you suspect someone may be involved in fraudulent activity but you are not the victim of the fraud, you can report the activity by either:
- calling the Tax Integrity Centre hotline on 1800 060 062
- completing the online tip-off form. The form is also available in the contact us section of the ATO app.
We are serious about fraud and support taxpayers who fall victim to it. We can help if fraudulent action has occurred on your behalf. This could be activity on your account without your knowledge or authority by a third party.
During the process of correcting your tax accounts, we may be able to help you in the following ways:
- Extend time to lodge a replacement return
- Remit general interest charge
- Arrange to pay by instalments
- Provide help during audits or investigations
We may grant you a time extension if you are lodging a replacement return or activity.
This may be:
- 30 days from the date we notify you that we require a replacement tax return or activity statement
- extended based on your circumstances.
If it is fair and reasonable, we can remit (reduce or cancel) interest charged on unpaid tax debts or shortfall amounts that occur because of fraud.
If an outstanding debt causes financial difficulties, we may allow you to pay instalments over an agreed time period.
We will support you or your trusted tax agent during the audit process to correct your tax accounts after fraud has occurred.
We are generally unable to intervene in civil matters where:
- we determine a lodgment or assessment is valid and reflects your current tax position
- any refund amount has issued to the destination instructed by you or your authorised representative (such as your tax agent).
We are unable to help where there is insufficient evidence of fraud, or to trace misdirected or misappropriated funds. The parties involved are to resolve these matters.
You can consider seeking independent advice through the court or by contacting consumer affairs bodies in these circumstances.Find out what you can do if you've been, or suspect you've been, the victim of tax fraud, and what support is available.