As the 31st January 2022 deadline for 2020/21 self-assessment tax returns nears, HMRC is set to distribute SMS and email communications to four million self-employed professionals, reminding them to pay their tax bill and directing them to any support if they are unable to pay in full.
HMRC is keen to raise awareness of the heightened attempts of fraudsters during this period, who attempt to convince individuals to transfer funds via their illegitimate websites or accounts.
Myrtle Lloyd, Director General for Customer Services, HMRC, said: “If someone contacts you saying they’re from HMRC, wanting you to urgently transfer money or give personal information, be on your guard.
“HMRC will also never ring up threatening arrest. Only criminals do that. Scams come in many forms. Some threaten immediate arrest for tax evasion, others offer a tax rebate.
“Contacts like these should set alarm bells ringing, so if you are in any doubt whether the email, phone call or text is genuine, you can check the ‘HMRC scams’ advice on GOV.UK and find out how to report them to us.”
Illegitimate websites will endeavour to replicate the messaging and user interface of government portals to increase their perceived authenticity. HMRC implores individuals due to submit an online 2020/21 self-assessment tax return to double and triple-check website addresses and online forms before submitting any sensitive data.
Anyone that believes they have fallen foul of a tax-related scam should contact their bank and notify Action Fraud of the crime immediately.
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Date published 22 Nov 2021 | Last updated 23 Nov 2021