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Avoiding tax scams

If a tax refund or promise sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Tax scams can take many forms, such as false emails and text messages, but phone scams are the number one threat in Australia.

Phone scammers usually impersonate an ATO employee and tell the receiver that they owe a tax debt. The scammers may intimidate or threaten the receiver with severe penalties if they don’t pay.

Some scammers will even try to go beyond stealing your money, and will try to steal your identity instead. These scammers are more interested in accessing personal identification data, such as a person’s tax file number, bank account details, drivers licence, or passport number.

The scammer can then use these private details to lodge fake tax returns and keep the refunds for themselves or claim government benefits while pretending to be that person.

Individuals can protect themselves from such scams by simply being aware of what the tax office does to collect information from taxpayers.

The ATO will never ask for an individual’s confidential details or threaten a person over the phone.  The ATO will also never send text messages and emails asking you to enter personal details online.

However, if a call, email or text message seems genuine, it is best to contact the ATO to check whether the correspondence is valid and true.

Posted on 11 October '15 by , under Tax.

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The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

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Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

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