We have received several phone calls in the last month from clients who have received rather disturbing phone calls. The caller on the end of the phone say they are from the Australian Taxation Office. They then proceed to say one of several things, examples of which are as follows
- You have an outstanding amount of tax and there is a warrant out for your arrest
- The sheriff is coming to your house to arrest you for outstanding tax
- You are due in court in the next 45 minutes because you have not paid your tax
In all cases the caller is quite rude and very aggressive in their nature. It appears as though they are calling from a Sydney telephone number. They are quite prepared to leave a return number.
Please do not be fooled by this. These people are running a scam that is well known to the Australian Taxation Office. These people are trying to make you panic and pay them money. Do not give them any details, instead let them know that you are calling the police to let them know the number they are calling from, and then hang up.
Even if you owe money to the Australian Taxation Office, they will not ring you up in this manner. In my experience the Australian Taxation Office have always been fairly reasonable in their approach to having debt repaid. They would certainly not ring out of the blue to threaten arrest for outstanding amounts.
The ATO have information on their website if you would to find out more. Go to www.ato.gov.au for more information. Also another website www.scamwatch.gov.au has further information on this or other scams that are doing the rounds at the moment.
Finally, I would recommend that you call your accountant to let them know that you have received this phone call. They will be able to confirm if there is any outstanding tax payable to the Australian Taxation Office.