Tax Scams

The deadline for filing and paying your self-assessment for the 2018/19 tax year is 31 January 2020, so why not get it sorted before the Christmas Holidays and you can relax knowing all is in hand otherwise you face penalties and interest if it is filed late. If you are putting off filing because you can’t pay the tax, this is only going to make the situation worse. You should file your return and contact HMRC to get a payment plan in place.

However in the run up to this deadline and in the panic of trying to make sure you are filing and paying on time, everyone needs to be vigilant of fraudsters. These people will try to steal your money in many different ways including phone calls and emails pretending to be HMRC, sending links which will take you to a false page, you could be asked for bank details over the phone or to enter online and you could receive a scam threatening of legal action should tax not be paid.

HMRC will never contact customers asking for PIN, passwords or bank details and you should never give this information out over the phone, replying to emails, text messages or clicking on links or attachments. Copycat websites and email addresses can be very difficult to detect but if you receive an email, you can check the address online at www.gov.uk/hmrc to check for examples of contact addresses.

If your circumstances have not changed and you don’t normally receive a refund, you should take extra care to ensure it is genuine. Fraud is becoming more and more sophisticated and the allurement of a ‘tax refund’ can be very appealing, so don’t be caught out this Christmas.

In most cases if your only income was from employment, you are not required to submit a tax return as tax is automatically deducted from this. However if you are earning more than £100,000 in employment then you will be required to submit a return.

You can provide details of suspicious calls or emails to HMRC through the email phishing@hmrc.gov.uk, or though texts to 60599. Customers who have suffered financial loss should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or use their online fraud reporting tool.

Allison Hamilton

 

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