Tax Scams at Record High

The number of scams involving bogus HMRC communications is increasing as the self-assessment payment deadline approaches. This blog highlights warning signs to be wary of. If unsure, speak to your accountant.

According to HMRC statistics, in 2018/19 it received around 900,000 reports about possible scams involving tax. This is a huge number given most people don’t bother to inform HMRC about them. The ways of communication by the scammers can vary from texts, phone-calls and emails.

HMRC does contact people by phone about their tax, usually when there’s overdue tax to pay. The calls are preceded by letters and demands from HMRC before they call. A call out of the blue suggesting you owe money is almost bound to be fake. You should not engage in discussion with the caller and hang-up.

HMRC will never ask you for personal or financial information by text. Don’t respond to a text message or open any links in it.

E-mails and letters appear convincing and include a genuine looking HMRC logo. They will typically include links to tax refund/payment claim web pages and these must be ignored.

Refer all such instances to your accountant before responding. Further guidance can be found on the site here.

AJN Accountants are specialists in helping contractors, freelancers and small businesses to save tax and time.

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