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January 2020

Beware of Australian Taxation Office (ATO) impersonation scams

The ATO warns taxpayers to be alert to malicious scammers who are using increasingly sophisticated methods and technology to impersonate the ATO.

         

 

A new tactic on the rise is “spoofing”, where scammers mimic a legitimate ATO phone number caller ID to call or send SMS messages, or mimic a legitimate email domain to send emails.

SMSs and emails may ask you to click on a link and provide your personal details to get a “refund” from the ATO. Scammers may also say you need to pay a (fake) tax debt. The ATO warns that these scammers may intend to steal not only your money, but also your identity by using your personal information.

If you’re not sure whether a communication is really from the ATO, don’t respond, don’t click any links and don’t open any attachments. Quickly hang up.  You could call us.  Alternatively, call the ATO’s scam hotline on 1800 008 540 to check its legitimacy.

 

On form of protection (if you remember) is that ANY communication with the ATO is via us – your tax agent.

 

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Australia by the Numbers

The following data is used to make decisions that effect every Australian's life.

         

 

Please click on the following link to see all this interesting information. The areas covered are:

  • Overview
  • Markets
  • GDP
  • Labour
  • Prices
  • Money
  • Trade
  • Government
  • Business
  • Consumer
  • Housing
  • Taxes
  • Climate

 

Access all this data here.

 

 

tradingeconomics.com/australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Visible, valued and owned’: ATO outlines super priorities for new year

The ATO has renewed its commitment to making sure super is “visible, valued and owned” in 2020, naming consolidation of member accounts and reducing the incidence of SG non-payment as some of its key priorities for the coming year.

         

 

In a recent statement published to the ATO website, ATO deputy commissioner James O’Halloran said the regulator would keep an eye on ensuring the implementation of any reforms in the super space were “fit for the future” in terms of the impact they would have on practitioners going forward.

“Just like many of our readers, we’re in the business of turning concepts into reality; the implementation of any major reform must not only be designed to be ‘fit for purpose’ but also ‘fit for the future’,” Mr O’Halloran said.

“Or to put it another way, super is about people and their future. So, we’ll keep the client experience front and centre of all we do, because we know our approach and actions impact your members’ plans for their investments and their retirement.”

Mr O’Halloran added that the ATO would continue to scrutinise employers around SG non-payment in the new year, a process that had been made easier by the rollout of the Single Touch Payroll system over the course of 2019.

“Aided by the introduction of Single Touch Payroll and fund event-based reporting, we now have an unprecedented level of ‘visibility’ of super information at the account and transaction level and we’re increasingly using this capability,” he said.

Mr O’Halloran also touched on the introduction of myGovID as a key achievement for the year that would continue to roll out in 2020.

“We’ve recently launched myGovID, the federal government’s digital identity solution which aims to transform how Australians interact with government,” he said.

“It will be faster and easier to prove who you are when accessing government online services.”

He added that while the ATO “can’t predict the next wave of reform”, it would focus on ensuring super was “visible, valued and owned” by Australians in the coming year.

 

 

Sarah Kendell 
30 December 2019
accountantsdaily.com.au

 

 

Introductory Rates & Interest Free Periods

Consumers are enticed to transfer balances owing on credit cards, but need to be aware of all the costs, not just the benefits.

         

 

During the promotion period:-

  • a lower interest rate may apply, and/or
  • fees, and charges may be lower, or may be waived altogether

The credit provider must take care that consumers are not misled about the details of the offer – The Corporations Act, the ASIC Act and National Consumer Credit Protection Act, are in place to ensure a balanced message and consumers have a realist impression of the overall costs.

If an advertisement includes details of a discounted interest rate, or discounted/waived fees, the advertisement must also make clear with equal prominence, the period for which the discounted rate applies.

The advertisement must also state what the interest rate revers to after the promotional period.

Pose yourself questions such as:-

  • can I pay off the debt during the promotional free period?
  • will the rate after the promotional period be higher than the current rate?
  • can I change my habits to avoid future credit cards interest?

 

There is no substitute for careful reading or asking for a second opinion from your accountant before you sign up.

 

 

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