Fraudulent tax refunds and demands

We are receiving an increasing number of calls regarding fraudulent emails, letters and telephone calls regarding possible tax refunds or threatening legal action for collection of tax which isn't due. Please see below HMRC's formal response to the issue and if you require any help please call us.

"Criminals use a range of techniques in tax-related phone scams, including calling taxpayers and offering a bogus tax refund, or threatening them with arrest if they don’t immediately pay fictitious tax owed. We are a well-known brand, which criminals abuse to add credibility to their scams.

‘HMRC’s dedicated customer protection team in cyber security operations works to identify and close down scams every day. HMRC has pioneered the use in government of technical controls to stop its helpline numbers being spoofed, so that fraudsters can no longer make it appear that they are calling from HMRC.

‘The department also works in partnership with the telecoms industry and Ofcom to block malicious phone numbers.

‘Over the past year HMRC has:

  • worked with the telecoms industry and Ofcom to remove more than 3,056 phone numbers being used to perpetrate HMRC-related phone scams; and
  • responded to 242,494 reports of phone scams from the public in total, up 24% on the previous year. In April this year we received reports of only 425 phone scams. In September this had risen to 46,015.’

‘HMRC’s advice:

Stop:

  • Take a moment to think before parting with your information or money.
  • Don’t give out private information or reply to text messages, and don’t download attachments or click on links in texts or emails you weren’t expecting.

Challenge:

  • It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests – only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact and how to avoid and report tax scams.

Protect:

  • Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.
  • Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen victim to a scam, and report it to Action Fraud (www.actionfraud.police.uk)."

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MTD takes effect for all VAT returns beginning on or after 1 April 2019. This means all VAT returns must be filed electronically using compliant software and not just by entering figures through the HMRC portal as might currently be the case.

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