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HMRC provide tips to avoid Self Assessment tax scams

Cogs in mindWith the 31 January 2020 deadline looming for Self Assessment taxpayers, HMRC is providing information to help avoid scams.

In the last year HMRC received:

  • 900,000 reports from taxpayers concerned about suspicious HMRC contact via phone calls, text messages or email
  • 11% of those reports were actual phone scams
  • 69% of reports related to bogus tax rebates 1

The most common techniques involve fraudsters posing as HMRC offering a fake tax refund, or emailing or texting a link to a fake website. Victims that fall for the impersonation enter their bank details and money is stolen. Other methods include threats of arrest or imprisonment if a tax bill is not paid immediately.

What to do if you think you are being scammed:

HMRC have a Customer Protection team who aim to identify and shut down such scams but encourage taxpayers to be aware of signs of a scam. HMRC will never contact a taxpayer asking for their PIN, password or bank details.

Furthermore, the Customer Protection team advises taxpayers:

  • To never give out private information
  • Not to reply to text messages
  • Not to download any attachments
  • Not to click on links supplied in emails or text messages which you are not expecting

Whether you have been successfully scammed or not, HMRC urges customers to act by forwarding details of suspicious calls or emails claiming to be them. To do so, email details to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk or text 60599. Customers who have suffered financial loss should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or use their online fraud reporting tool.2

Accommodating your tax needs:

Avoid the hassle of trying to sort out your own tax return with our help. Cooper Associates Accountants are on hand to help you with all tax-related queries and more. Call us on 01823 218550 or email enquiry@caa-ltd.com

 

1 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hmrc-tips-on-avoiding-self-assessment-tax-scams
2 https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime

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