From 5 to 23 November 2018, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will be sending SMS text messages to individuals and businesses entitled to a refund who have provided incorrect bank account details in their tax return. You will receive a text directly from the ATO if a refund bounce occurs.
Many people are understandably wary about text messages and emails requesting bank details, considering the number of hoaxes and scams that abound these days. It is important to be aware that ATO texts during this period are not a hoax and updating your bank details will ensure you receive your refund. BUT be warned, scammers are likely to impersonate the same SMS so you will need to carefully check the text for legitimacy.
The SMS from the ATO will tell you:
- your refund cannot be processed due to incorrect bank account details
- phone the ATO on 13 28 61 to correct your details.
If you contact the ATO with your correct bank details within seven days, your refund will be issued electronically. If you do not provide your correct details within seven days, the ATO will send you a cheque. The ATO will also email your tax agent a list of their clients who have received this text message.
Remember that the ATO will never demand immediate payments, threaten you with arrest, or request payment by unusual means such as iTunes vouchers, store gift cards or Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
Do NOT follow any links provided in an SMS. The official ATO text only asks you to phone the 13 28 61 number to provide your bank details over the phone.
Please contact your PrincipleFocus office if you have any queries.