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ATO warns tax agents over inappropriate use of myGov

The ATO has issued a warning to tax professional over the inappropriate use of myGov.

ATO warns tax agents over inappropriate use of myGov
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • July 12, 2019
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The ATO has identified registered tax agents and unregistered preparers using taxpayer's personal login details to access their ATO online account through myGov to lodge tax returns on behalf of their clients.

The warning follows cases of agents posing as tax agents who lodge tax returns on behalf of clients, often by accessing their myGov accounts and lodging through myTax.

“MyTax is not an approved lodgment channel for registered agents and is a breach of the ATO online terms and conditions,” the ATO said in a statement.

“We will be closely monitoring returns and utilising all of our data matching and collection tools in an effort to identify suspicious patterns of behaviour with lodgments.

“We will seek to identify patterns of behaviour that suggest the use of myGov by unregistered preparers.”

It added that agents could risk referral to the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) if they are discovered using myGov to lodge on behalf of their clients, or without their clients’ knowledge.

The ATO’s warning follows a similar notice from the TPB, which highlighted the dangers of sharing personal details with unregistered tax agents. 

The TPB said last week it is currently investigating 37 cases involving unregistered agents, and will bring the worst of them to the Federal Court of Australia for prosecution.

“We urge everyone this tax time not to share their personal myGov password with anyone, and if they plan to use a tax agent, to make sure they are registered with the TPB,” said TPB CEO Michael O'Neill. 

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