Unfortunately, fraudsters are continuing to target taxpayers with scam emails in advance of the 31 January 2021 deadline for submission of Self Assessment returns. In the last year, HMRC has received more than 846,000 reports about suspicious HMRC contact.
Here at Kara Accountants, we will help make sure that you do not fall victim to fraud attacks or scams and ensure that you submit your Self Assessment tax return safely.
Do I need to fill in a Self Assessment tax return?
You can check if you are required to fill in a self-assessment tax return on the GOV.UK website by clicking here.
Some of the main criteria includes that if your self-employment income was more than £1,000, if you’re a director of a company (unless it’s a nonprofit organisation) or if you have income from abroad that you need to pay tax on.
What are the current HMRC scams?
Many of these new scams tell the recipient that they are due a fake tax rebate or tax refund from HMRC. They will then ask for bank or credit details in order to settle the fake tax refund. These scammers will use phone calls, text messages or emails in order to try and swindle people from their money; they’ve even been known to threaten victims with arrest or imprisonment if they do not pay these fake tax bills, so be careful!
How to identify HMRC scam phone calls, emails and text messages
HMRC’s dedicated Customer Protection team is there to identify and close down scams but is advising customers to recognise the signs to avoid becoming victims themselves. For example, genuine organisations like HMRC and banks will never contact customers asking for their PIN, password or bank details.
Scam and fraudulent messages can be scarily similar to those actually sent from HMRC, however GOV.UK has created a checklist that can be used to help you identify if these messages are real or not. Please check directly with HMRC if you receive messages that are:
- offering a refund, tax rebate or grant
- asking for personal information like bank details
- telling you to transfer money
You can also view examples of scam messages here to help you look for the signs that these messages are not genuine.
If you think you have received a suspicious call or email claiming to be from HMRC you are asked to forward the details to email@example.com and texts to 60599. If you have suffered financial loss then you should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.
Do you require help completing your tax self-assessment? Or just looking for general financial advice for you and your business? Please do not hesitate to contact us.