Self assessment taxpayers who are thinking about their annual tax returns for the 2021/22 tax year should protect themselves from being targeted by criminals, HMRC has warned.
In the 12 months to August 2022, HMRC responded to more than 180,000 public referrals of suspicious contact from fraudsters, of which almost 81,000 were scams offering fake tax rebates.
Criminals claiming to be from HMRC have targeted taxpayers by email, text and phone, with their communications ranging from offering bogus tax rebates to threatening arrest for tax evasion. However, HMRC says it would never call threatening arrest.
Individuals who are contacted by someone claiming to be from HMRC in a way that arouses suspicion are advised to take their time and check the scams advice on GOV.UK.
Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: ‘Never let yourself be rushed. If someone contacts you saying they’re from HMRC wanting you to urgently transfer money or give personal information, be on your guard.
‘Tax scams come in many forms. Some threaten immediate arrest for tax evasion, others offer a rebate. Contacts like these should set alarm bells ringing.’