Beware of Phishing Scams when filing your Tax Returns

Action Fraud and the HMRC is urging Self Assessment taxpayers to stay alert, with the emergence of copycat websites and phishing scams.

“It’s important to remember if you’re contacted out the blue by someone purporting to be from HMRC asking for your personal or financial details, or offering you a tax rebate, grant or refund, this could be a scam."

Scammers are taking advantage of people who will be receiving SMS messages and emails as part of this year's annual Self Assessment tax return push. In the last 12 months, HMRC has responded to more than 846,000 referrals of suspicious HMRC contact from the public and with 15,500 malicious web pages being reported to internet service providers and then taken down.

⚠️ The next tax return deadline is 31 January 2021. 🧾

Many scams are targeting customers to inform them of a fake ‘tax rebate’ or ‘tax refund’ they are due. The scammers are using language which is intended to convince you to hand over your personal information and bank details. Criminals will then use this personal information to access your bank accounts and trick you into paying fictitious tax bills, or by selling on your personal information to other criminals.

Above are some examples of phishing text messages used by scammers.

“Criminals are experts at impersonating organisations that we know and trust. We work closely with HMRC to raise awareness of current scams and encourage people to report any suspicious calls or messages they receive, even if they haven’t acted on them, to the relevant channels. This information is crucial in disrupting criminal activity and is already helping HMRC take down fraudulent websites being used to facilitate fraud." Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud

Report it if you see anything to Action Fraud and HMRC

If you’ve been the victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and please report it to Action Fraud or call 0300 123 2040.

If you find any suspicious activity related to the HMRC, report this to and texts to 60599.

Did you miss the news? The Self Assessment deadline has been extended

If you're filling out your Self Assessment you are encouraged to complete their tax return by 31 January. However, if that is not possible, you will not be charged a late filing penalty if you complete your tax return by the 28th February. Around 55% of Self Assessments have already been filed, the HMRC is urging others to do so this month.

You can file your Self Assessment tax return online if you are self-employed or are not self-employed but you still send a tax return. For example, because you receive income from renting out a property.

You can also use the Self Assessment tax online service to:

  • View returns you’ve made before

  • Check your details

  • Print your tax calculation

Did know? Paying VAT payments were deferred between 20th March and 30th June 2020. For more details on Pay VAT deferred due to coronavirus (COVID-19) click here.

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