Self -Assessment scams escalate as fraud gets sophisticated

Self-Assessment

It’s Self-Assessment season and we’re urging taxpayers to be extra vigilant when receiving emails or phone calls from someone claiming to be from HMRC.

With the 31 January Self-Assessment tax deadline having recently passed, fraudsters are contacting taxpayers using increasingly more sophisticated emails and phone calls having studied HMRC’s style guide containing information about the use of language and fonts. The results can be extremely convincing and difficult to distinguish from the real thing.

Remember that:

  • HMRC only sends out letters regarding specific information, not emails, calls or texts
  • HMRC will never email asking for personal info or asking for payment
  • HMRC will never text, call or email to inform you of a refund
  • Tax refunds can always be safely reclaimed by logging into your personal tax account
  • If unsure, DO NOT click on any links in unexpected texts or emails
  • Spelling mistakes suggest a scam email

You can report any suspect messages to HMRC here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/reporting-fraudulent-emails

If you think you’re the victim of a scam or have lost money, report it to Action Fraud: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Stay on your guard and think before you click.

And worth noting that if you haven’t already filed your tax return, you can avoid a late filing penalty if you make a #timetopay arrangement with HMRC by 1 April ’21.

Our tax team is here to help and advise you on your personal, corporate and employer tax obligations including all things self-assessment and tax payments.

With government spending on the furlough scheme, self-employed grants and business rates relief at record highs, there is pressure on HMRC to recover as much revenue as possible via the tax system and apply penalties where taxpayers have failed to stick to the rules. Please contact [email protected] or call 01527 558539 if you’re unsure of your obligations or would like to discuss your tax position.