ATO Email and SMS Scams

This is the time of the year that these scams are in full flight across Australia, so I wish to post this information provided by the ATO to all my readers, to assist in avoiding these type of scams.

Current ATO SMS and email activities

We use SMS and emails for promotional and information purposes. If you receive an SMS or email claiming to be from us, you can check our list of current activities to verify that it’s genuine.

If you have linked the ATO to your myGov account, we will now send most of your personal ATO letters directly to your myGov Inbox, rather than through the post.

You will get email or SMS notifications from myGov to let you know when there are new messages in your myGov Inbox. These myGov notifications will not contain links.

If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a myGov notification you have received you should go directly to the myGov home page (my.gov.au) and sign in to check your myGov Inbox.

ATO messages will never ask you to reply by SMS and/or email to provide personal information, such as your tax file number (TFN) or your personal bank account number or BSB.

General email and SMS messages

Current general notifications could include:

  • advice that your application has been received
  • a reminder to provide documents
  • a reminder to attend a meeting
  • reminders to meet ATO obligations to avoid penalties or cancellation of role, including:
    • lodgment of outstanding tax returns, annual returns and/or business activity statements
    • payment of debt
    • payment of instalments as negotiated with the ATO
  • advice of new tax rates
  • important information for your business or industry
  • promotion of a product or service we offer, such as myTax, e-tax, myGov,SuperSeeker and similar
  • notification of delays and system outages.

Specific email and SMS messages

From time to time, we may send you an SMS and/or email asking you to take specific action, such as:

  • provide additional information we require to process a BAS or tax return you have lodged
  • provide additional information we require regarding an application you have made to us
  • verify changes made to your account.

We may also ask you to phone us to provide information.

Current messages include:
Description Timing
Request for information to update your:

  • business contact details
  • business industry code
ongoing
Request for information to process your:

  • Income Tax Return
  • hardship application
  • release application
  • GST registration
  • ABN application
ongoing
Request to provide information for:

  • superannuation obligations
ongoing
Providing an alert to allow you to:

Verify changes made to your account, including whether or not a recent link of your ATO record to a myGov account was made by you

ongoing

Tax and BAS agent emails

If you are a registered agent, we may email you with important updates regarding your client(s). Emails may include topics listed under the ‘General SMS and email messages’ section above, or may be more specific.

Specific emails to registered agents include:
Description Timing
Report detailing your lodgment performance as compared to the benchmark ongoing
Update providing a list of clients where the ATO is yet to receive lodgment ongoing
Report which provides a list of reason codes associated with delays in processing client’s returns ongoing

2 thoughts on “ATO Email and SMS Scams

  1. Thanks for posting this, as I have been inundated with these scams involving the Australian Tax Office. It is unfortunate that people conduct these scams instead of doing a good honest day’s work!

    1. Hi Barbara
      Yes these types of scams are certainly doing the rounds, and as people are currently doing their tax returns, scammers are trying to take advantage. Please pass the message on to as many people as you know, so we can all prevent theses types of scams claiming further victims!

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