Fake tax agents a risk during tax time

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is warning taxpayers to look out for people posing as tax agents who aren’t registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPD).

They recommend three steps to protect yourself from potential fraudulent tax agents:

  • Check your tax agent was registered via tpb.gov.au/search-register;
  • Protect your myGov login details and password as registered tax agents had access to this information via ATO portals;
  • Knowing your tax affairs by logging into myGov to review your return and refund details, and to contact your registered tax agent or the ATO.

Karen Foat, ATO assistant commissioner, said she was concerned with the number of people claiming to be tax agents, especially ones over-promising on tax refunds or exceptionally low-cost services.

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“These unregistered preparers pose a threat to vulnerable taxpayers and risk the reputation of registered tax agents,” Foat said.

“Unfortunately, we see too many instances where people have unwittingly used an unregistered preparer, which has resulted in a significant tax debt and loss of money.

“We also see instances where people do not receive their refund, or where fraudulent claims are lodged in their name without their knowledge.”

Tip-offs can be made to TPB or ATO if there is someone that is posing as a tax agent and providing those services.

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