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Fraudulent payment summaries

Information about the risk of receiving requests to lodge returns that may include fraudulent payment summaries.

Last updated 30 June 2019

You may be approached to unknowingly lodge fraudulent tax returns on behalf of clients using false payment summaries.

These payment summaries are often realistic copies of genuine payment summaries or other employment documents, with legitimate details such as:

  • tax file number (TFN)
  • payer name and matching Australian business number (ABN).

What to look for

From information received in past years, fraudulent tax returns had some of the following characteristics:

  • new clients
  • handwritten documents
  • tax withheld listed on the payment summary is excessive compared to income reported
  • the return has simple deduction claims and in some cases may include spouse offsets and/or education tax rebates
  • deductions may not seem to align with the occupation code or are higher than would normally be expected for that occupation
  • there are numerical similarities or rounded figures where new clients are claiming the same employer details
  • some clients may use forged proof-of-identity documents such as a drivers licence or foreign passport.

What you need to do

If you notice suspicious behaviour from a new client, we recommend you take extra precautions to ensure they are legitimate.

If you cannot confirm the payment summary and claims are authentic, explain to your client your responsibility as a registered tax agent and decline to prepare and lodge their tax return.

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