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Reducing the risk of refund fraud

Refund fraud occurs where tax returns, activity statements and other documents are deliberately falsified in order to claim a tax refund a taxpayer is not entitled to.

Fraudulent claims can be lodged by individuals on their own account or third parties on behalf of others. Often, this can involve identity crime, where taxpayer identities are used by third parties to make fraudulent claims for personal gain.

Some examples of refund fraud are deliberately over-claiming deductions, offsets, or expenses by providing false or misleading information, understating income and/or providing fictitious payment summary details, providing false information in a business activity statement and making claims through fraudulent registrations or using false or stolen identities.

The ATO have a range of controls and systems in place to detect potential refund fraud, these include:

-analytical  models that use behaviour and statistical algorithms to analyse information on income tax returns, business activity statements and other tax forms lodged

-sharing data and intelligence with their partner agencies

-obtaining information about suspected fraud from the community and other government agencies

Posted on 30 May '14 by , under Tax.

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Superfund categories and what they mean

There are four different categories of super funds. These have different primary features and are more applicable to certain people than they are to others.

Retail super funds

Anyone can join retail funds. They are mostly run by banks and investment companies:

  • Allow for a wide range of investment options.
  • Financial advisors may recommend this type of fund as they receive commissions or might get paid fees for them.
  • Although they usually range from medium to high cost, there may be low-cost alternatives.
  • The companies that own these funds will aim to keep some of the profit they yield

Industry super funds

Anyone can join bigger industry funds, but smaller ones may only be open to people in certain industries i.e. health.

  • Most are accumulation funds but some older ones may have defined benefit members
  • Range from low to medium cost
  • Not-for-profit, so all profits are put back into the fund

Public sector super funds

Only available for government employees

  • Employers contribute more than the 9.5% minimum
  • Modest range of investment choices
  • Newer members are usually in an accumulation fund, but many of the long-term members have defined benefits
  • Low fees
  • Profits are put back into the fund

Corporate super funds

Arranged by employers for employees. Large companies may operate corporate funds under the board of trustees. Some corporate funds are operated by retail or industry funds, but availability is restricted to employees

  • If managed by bigger fund, wide range of investment options
  • Older funds have defined benefits, but most are accumulation funds
  • Low to medium costs for large employers, could be high cost for small employers

Self-managed super funds

Private super fund you manage yourself. Many more nuances to this type of fund. Most prominent feature is the autonomy over investment.

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