As the new financial year starts, many tax payers will be looking to lodge their tax returns directly via MyTax or engaging the services of a tax agent.

During this busy period, tax scams are on the rise. Scammers are using sophisticated techniques to defraud Australians. The scammers use letters, emails and even telephone calls pretending to represent the ATO.

Emails claim to come from the ATO offering a tax refund and links to a fake website which looks remarkably genuine. The email may include an attachment containing malware which corrupts your computer system.

Typically, the scammers demand payment of a fake tax debt and threaten prosecution or arrest if payment is not made immediately.

Little can be done to stop such scams. The criminals involved are usually based offshore and use sophisticated techniques that are almost impossible for Australian law enforcement agencies to trace.

With OneLedger as your tax agent, any contact from the ATO regarding your tax affairs should come via our office. In particular, the ATO does not make telephone contact seeking payment of a tax debt without first writing to taxpayers.

Under no circumstance should you pay an alleged tax debt without first talking to us first. Please get in touch with us immediately of any direct contact purporting to be from the ATO and we will seek to verify whether it is genuine.

Alternatively, you can phone the ATO directly on 1800 008 540

Amela Kmetas