Don’t be fooled

Posted 2019 by Chris Davies

As 31 January self-assessment payment deadline approaches taxpayers need to be especially aware that scammers see this as a profitable time of year.

Last year HMRC received almost a million reports about suspicious contact from HMRC, and the true number may be much higher as many cases go unreported.

These contacts can take the form of phone calls, texts or emails. Typically the contents will either say that the taxpayer is due a rebate in order to obtain their bank details, or will request payment of an outstanding tax debt. We are aware that some use threats of imprisonment if the debt is not paid immediately.

We advise taxpayers to be on guard. In particular, don’t be fooled by the temptation of a tax rebate in a text or email, HMRC will never contact you in this way. Do not follow any links in a text or email – if you wish to check your tax position then go to the HMRC web page by typing in the correct url, or if you have an accountant check with them first. HMRC will never use scare tactics or threaten that the Police are on the way to arrest you.