Self Assessment scam warning from HMRC

Industry News - 14th November 2023

In the countdown to the Self Assessment deadline on 31 January 2024, HMRC is warning taxpayers to be on their guard against fraudsters. In the 12 months to September 2023, HMRC received more than 130,000 reports of suspicious contact from taxpayers, of which almost 58,000 related to bogus tax rebates. 

With around 12 million people expected to submit a Self Assessment tax return by the January deadline, the tax authority is once again urging customers to be aware of scam emails, texts and phone calls, claiming to be from HMRC.

The scams take different forms: 

  • Some inform taxpayers that they are due a rebate or refund of tax from HMRC and ask for bank or credit card details in order to send the fake tax refund
  • Others advise customers that they need to update their tax details
  • And some threaten victims with arrest or imprisonment if a bogus tax bill is not paid immediately.

HMRC operates a dedicated Customer Protection team to identify and close down these scams but continues to advise taxpayers to identify fraud and avoid becoming victims themselves. For example, HMRC only makes contact with taxpayers due a refund by post and never use emails, text messages or external companies for this activity. Genuine organisations like HMRC and banks will never contact customers asking for their PIN, password or bank details.

If you have been contacted by phone, email or text and you do not believe it to be genuine, you can report any suspicious activity to HMRC.

If you have suffered an actual financial loss, you should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.

HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, Myrtle Lloyd, said:

‘HMRC is reminding customers to be wary of approaches by fraudsters in the run up to the Self Assessment deadline. Criminals are great pretenders who try and dupe people by sending emails, phone calls and texts which mimic government messages to make them appear authentic.

‘Unexpected contacts like these should set alarm bells ringing, so take your time and check HMRC scams advice on GOV.UK.’

Please contact us for any questions on Self Assessment.

Internet link: GOV.UK

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