• Systems stop suspect returns

    New Tax Office data mining technology has identified 25,000 suspect tax returns worth around $260 million.

    Using new technology and existing systems the Tax Office has sifted through more than 3.6 million returns lodged since 1 July 2009. It has identified everything from sophisticated scams to basic non-compliance.

    Tax Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo said we are picking up tax returns that warrant closer scrutiny. When it comes to protecting the integrity of Australia's tax and superannuation systems - prevention is better than cure.

    'Identifying suspicious activity and stopping fraudulent claims before they go out is far more effective than trying to re-coup refunds after they have been paid,' Mr D'Ascenzo said.

    'Combining our usual scrutiny with new technology means suspect claims are even more likely to attract our attention.

    'We owe it to the overwhelming majority of taxpayers who do the right thing to use the full force of the law against those who don't, and to deter those who believe they won't get caught.'

    Mr D'Ascenzo said the new technology also uses identity crime models to identify potentially fraudulent claims involving identity theft.

    He said increasingly sophisticated schemes are tricking people into divulging personal information.

    'People need to ensure they protect their personal details because once your identity is stolen, it can take years to rectify the damage.'

    For more information on online security, how to protect against identity crime, and how to report tax crime, go to www.ato.gov.au/identitycrime or phone 1800 060 062.

      Last modified: 28 Jan 2010QC 28247