If you own a small business, you’ll know that the tax season can bring opportunity and exploitative opportunists. While you may often easily manage the tax season, it’s important to be aware of scams.

Government bodies rightly state that scammers can make fake websites or aim to exploit your business with sophisticated scams. There are many ways these individuals aim to access your money.

Our list of three tax scams and tips is here to help you avoid becoming a target. Let’s look at the scams.

1. Mobile and Telephone Scams

Scams can occur through mobile and telephone means of communication. Opportunists posing as the Australian Tax Office will call or send a pre-recorded message to demand payment from you immediately, sometimes to a personal bank. However, keep in mind the following points:

  • The ATO won’t expect you to make payments to a personal bank
  • You will never receive a pre-recorded voice message from the ATO
  • If the ATO does contact you, their identity will be shown as “No Caller ID.”

When in doubt, avoid replying to the caller. Contact the ATO by calling 1800 008 540 if you need to confirm if there’s a tax-related issue.

2. Email Communication and SMS Scams

Sophisticated email communication scams are known as phishing attempts. The emails you receive may contain links that take you to a site demanding business information.

Specifically, the information they demand also includes your home address, bank account information and date of birth. You will recognise these emails by looking at the subject header, which may contain the words “Tax Refund”. Importantly, you can filter scam emails with your email settings, so you will always know which communication to ignore. 

Some opportunists will initiate email scams related to cryptocurrency, demanding you provide your digital wallet details, claiming you have been involved in cryptocurrency tax evasion. While you will not have been involved in such tax evasion, scammers seek your personal information to access your finances.

Alternatively, exploitative scammers may use SMS scams to offer a refund from the ATO. The refund does not exist; however, the individual will ask for specific information from you. 

Just like email scams, ensure you never respond to such a message or provide your details. You should also avoid selecting any links in the text message.

3. Social Media Scams

Individuals also initiate social media scams by offering free Tax File Numbers to vulnerable people in exchange for their personal information. While they claim to offer an easy “application process”, they simply want access to your details and money.

4 Tips to Avoid Being Targeted by Scammers

In addition to the tips we have provided, make sure you consider the following points to avoid being targeted during tax season:

1. Never click links in suspicious emails

2. Never call a contact number that a suspicious email contains

3. Refrain from sharing personal information – the ATO will not require personal detail verification

4. Request the support of expert business accountants

Handle Taxes Securely with Advisory One

If you require financial support this tax season, reach out to our advisors. We can help you navigate your tax requirements and avoid tax scams. 

Contact our experts to avoid being targeted by scams during tax season.