Staying safe from scammers who impersonate the ATO

Staying safe from scammers who impersonate the ATO

The ATO social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great resources for tax and super information. People from across the community go to these pages to ask tax and super questions, as you do in ATO Community.

Unfortunately, scammers on Facebook and Twitter have upped their game recently and are responding to some questions and comments on the ATO Facebook and Twitter social media posts, offering support and inviting commenters to direct-message them. These scammers often use profiles that impersonate the ATO and have their name and branding. While the social media teams are removing these posts as quickly as they can and are working with the social media platforms to have these accounts removed, new accounts continue to emerge.

The above picture is an example of an impersonator offering support in the replies of a person’s twitter post. Note they are not using the Official ATO account.

The ATO will never use their social media platforms to ask you to provide personal information or documentation or ask you to make payments. They will only ever communicate with you ‘as the ATO’ on social media with the Official ATO accounts. You can be sure you’re engaging with the ATO on Facebook when you see the blue verification tick next to their name. Similarly, the Twitter account shows a grey checkmark and the word ‘Official’ under their username. You can verify them on LinkedIn by ensuring that the account you’re engaging with:

• has the official ATO logo and organisational name next to the message. Beware of slight variations on their name, like ‘Australia’ rather than ‘Australian’ Taxation Office
• only provides you with email addresses that end with ‘’
• doesn’t have typos or grammatical errors in its messages
• has a large number of account followers (almost 200,000 followers at the time of writing).

The ATO does not use other platforms such as Reddit, TikTok and WhatsApp to communicate with you.

ATO Community isn’t totally impervious either. Some users have been registering accounts with NameATO usernames. This makes their responses look like they are from ATO staff members, the ATO Community moderators will remove these when they see them.

If you’re approached by a social media account that is impersonating the ATO, don’t engage with it. You may wish to report posts from these accounts via the message options in each channel. The social media teams are also actively removing and reporting these messages as soon as they’re identified.

There is more information about other tax-related scams and how to report them available on the ATO Community website.

Boosts for small businesses now available

Boosts for small businesses now available

The Small business technology investment boost

To support the uptake of digital technology, eligible small businesses can claim an extra 20% tax deduction. This is to help businesses grow by investing in digital operations. Remember – to claim the boost for a depreciating asset, you must have had it installed by 30 June 2023.

The Small business skills and training boost

Eligible small businesses can also claim an extra 20% deduction to help cover the cost of training employees. You can claim deductions for external training courses taken by both new and existing employees, either in person or online. So long as the course is delivered in Australia, by providers registered in Australia.

For all the info you need on claiming the bonus deductions in your tax return, visit the ATO Community website.

Want to access your super early?

Want to access your super early?

We want to protect your savings by stopping illegal access to super schemes.

It’s important to know when you can access your super early. Your super can only be accessed if you meet either a
common condition of release or a special condition of release.

Some people known as ‘promoters’ may offer to help you access your super early. They may tell you they can withdraw your super to use for personal purposes such as to buy a house or go on a holiday. This is illegal. If you’re approached by a promoter, protect your super and help us by
reporting it as soon as possible.

Be aware of people who are not qualified or licensed to be advising you about your super. You can visit the ASIC financial register to make sure the person or business you are dealing with has a financial license.

Better yet, check out an easy-to-read factsheet that highlights the dangers of illegally accessing your super early.

Additional information about other super schemes targeting SMSFs can be found at

Know your FBTs

Know your FBTs

If you’ve been giving your employees perks like car parking or gym memberships, you should consider the fringe benefits tax (FBT) implications.

These extras can be a great bonus on top of salary and wage income. But did you know they may be subject to FBT?

Keep in mind that everything in the list below could be subject to FBT:

• allowing an employee to use a work car, including a dual cab ute, for private purposes
• car parking
• tickets to concerts, shows or sports events
• reimbursed school fees
• discounted loans
• salary sacrifice arrangements with staff.

If you’re giving your staff extras that are subject to FBT, take these four steps:

• Identify the types of fringe benefits you give your staff
• Determine the taxable value using approved valuation methods relevant to each fringe benefit
• Lodge an FBT return by the due date (that may be a little later if your tax agent lodges online for you).
• Keep records that show your calculations and support your FBT position.

Knowing your FBTs starts with understanding how FBT works. Keen to learn more? Check out the website below or talk to your trusted tax professional for the best advice on managing your FBT obligations.