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The fake letter demands payment of a past tax liability or penalty, and requests the recipient calls an 0300 number to discuss payment.

Scammers often use tax deadlines, such as those for self-assessment tax returns and VAT returns to target their victims. Letters sent at these times, and which demand an urgent payment, can often catch business owners off guard, especially those who may have genuinely missed a deadline.

How to tell a HMRC letter may be fake

Always check this page or with your accountant to help determine if a suspicious letter, email or telephone call is really from HMRC.

Look at any small, but significant details that can often be overlooked, such as grammatical or spelling mistakes, the address, postcode and phone number. You can check correct HMRC details here GOV.UK website. Any logos may also be blurred or fuzzy.

HMRC has also stated it will never send a letter, text, email or phone to ask for bank details, PIN or passwords.

Anyone who  believes they have fallen foul of a tax-related scam should contact their bank and notify Action Fraud of the crime immediately. You can also report phishing scams to HMRC through its website.

Date published 25 Apr 2023

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