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‘Own initiative’ investigation into tax identity fraud
TERMS OF REFERENCE
To investigate the ATO’s systems that prevent, detect and respond to identity and related financial fraud, and the impact of those measures on affected taxpayers and their representatives including:
- What controls and security measures the ATO has in place, including modifications implemented since Operation Protego, to prevent and detect identity and financial fraud or identity theft from occurring on taxpayers’ ATO accounts;
- What communication measures and tools are relied upon to prevent, detect and respond to treating identity and related financial fraud;
- Whether the ATO makes effective use of information that taxpayers and tax practitioners provide which indicate potential weaknesses in the ATO’s approach to addressing identity and related financial fraud, for example:
- quickly acting on taxpayers’ enquiries that indicate potential compromise of accounts, and analysing them to detect potential new and emerging fraud methodologies;
- quickly acting on concerns raised by tax practitioners about potential weaknesses in administration and inter-agency interactions and using them to test and update the ATO’s fraud detection methods;
- Whether the ATO quickly and effectively treats instances of identity and related financial fraud when notified, for example, by:
- immediately stopping any affected refunds that are due to issue;
- immediately preventing further unauthorised dealings with the taxpayer’s account and protecting it against future financial damage;
- Whether the ATO has appropriately considered the impact that security settings (especially ongoing security settings) placed on compromised ATO accounts may have on affected taxpayers and their representatives, such as:
- where the ATO imposes protection measures on a compromised account, the ease with which affected taxpayers and tax practitioners can access their accounts to fulfill their tax obligations, and the alternative measures that are open to the ATO;
- the speed at which tax returns and notices issued for affected taxpayers will be assessed; and
- the treatment of debts on affected taxpayer accounts pending the outcome of investigations into the alleged identity and related financial fraud.
You can contact us as follows:
- Complete our ID Fraud response template (in PDF and MS Word format) and forward it to [email protected]
- Complete our ID Fraud response template (in PDF and MS Word format) and email it to your professional membership body if you do not wish to be identified.
- Email us with your contact details and we will call you back on a recorded telephone line.
You can submit your experiences up until 15 February 2024.
The IGTO report with findings and recommendations is planned for release in June 2024.