ATO warns about GST fraud

Taxpayers are being warned to be on the lookout for dodgy online ads, often on social media platforms, promising easy GST refunds.

The ATO recently issued a media release about large-scale GST fraud attempts exceeding $850 million, that involve customers setting up an ABN without operating a business, and then submitting fictitious BAS statements to get a GST refund.

The ATO said it has already successfully stopped $770 million in attempted fraud before payment.

“The people who are involved in these activities aren’t accidentally ticking a box on an online form. They’re signing to say that they’ve set up an ABN for a business that doesn’t exist, then lodging a BAS with false information on it, to receive GST refunds that they are not entitled to,” the ATO said.

Taxpayers who think they’ve been involved in this arrangement are urged to let the ATO know (before the ATO contacts them) by calling 1300 130 017.

Confidential reports of suspected tax evasion or crime can be made online (visit ato.gov.au/tipoff) or by calling the ATO’s Tax Integrity Centre on 1800 060 062.

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