With online frauds and cybercrimes on the rise, The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has given a warning to the community to stay away and not engage in any sort of GST fraud. With an intelligence report received from banks and other financial alliances in the country, there has been a significant spike in suspicious false refunds filed by the participants.
To tackle the situation, the ATO is on its process of investigating around $850 million in potentially fraudulent payments made to around 40,000 individuals through Operation Protego. Though an average of $20,000 amount has already been claimed, the taxation office has already stopped refunding many more attempted frauds.
This fraud started with offenders generating fake identities with fake businesses and ABNs. Then, fictitious business activity statements were generated to make a false GST fund request.
To prevent you from falling victim to fraud and paying penalties, ATO has generously reminded the community that:
- It does not offer loans, so never fall into a fraud trap
- It does not administer government disaster payments
- There’s no need for an ABN if you are not in the business
- Never share your myGov login details with anyone
- Never backdate your business to seek a refund
- Don’t submit any false declaration to receive payments
- Don’t engage in any tax fraud as punishment is there
- Stealing in the form of funds from the ATO is a crime
Will Day, ATO Deputy Commissioner and Chief of the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce, exclaimed that the information on how to attempt GST fraud is being shared online via social media platforms, and most of the people who are a part of this fraud are not anonymous.
If you are the one or know someone engaged in the fraud, call the ATO hotline at the earliest to avoid any major penalties and punishment.
In case, you have shared your myGov details with anyone who is not trustworthy, let the ATO know about your situation so that your identity can be protected in the future. For more details, feel free to contact our tax accountants at KPG Taxation.