From 5 to 23 November 2018, the ATO will send SMS text messages to your clients if incorrect bank account details were included in their tax return and they are entitled to a refund.
Tax agents will receive an email list of clients who have been contacted for their information, with no action needed to be taken.
The text message will contain information telling clients that their refund cannot be processed due to incorrect bank account details and that they are required to phone the ATO to correct the details.
Clients who contact the Tax Office and provide correct details within seven days will be issued their refund electronically. On the flipside, clients who do not will be sent a cheque.
The ATO notice comes after increasing reports of new tax scams, including a recent scam involving fraudsters impersonating registered tax agents.
The ATO has asked that tax agents to reach out to clients to inform them that the Tax Office would never demand immediate payments; threaten them with arrest; and request payment by unusual means such as iTunes vouchers, store gift cards or Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
Scams are among the core issues affecting taxpayers and small business clients in 2018, with the ACCC revealing that $2.3 million in scams were reported as of August this year.
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Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.