We all need to be alert to scams operated by email, telephone, text or letter for our own businesses and to protect our clients. Many scammers try to impersonate HMRC, or claim to be agencies acting on behalf of HMRC.
If you receive a phone call out of the blue from someone claiming to be a bailiff collecting a tax debt it is unlikely to be genuine, as HMRC will have first contacted the taxpayer by letter. You can check on the Justice.gov.uk website whether the company is an approved bailiff.
In the past HMRC has said it won’t contact taxpayers by unsolicited text message or telephone call, but there are exceptions to that general rule.
Genuine HMRC texts may be sent to:
- those who owe income tax, VAT, PAYE or corporation tax;
- remind taxpayers of payment or submission deadlines;
- deliver an access code to activate the taxpayer’s tax account;
- advise entitlement to higher NMW rate following a birthday or the uprating of rates;
- advise that their self-assessment return is being processed.
In all cases the text will not include or request any personal or financial information.
A taxpayer may receive an unexpected phone call from HMRC or an HMRC approved research agency working on one of these issues:
- needs of charitable organisations (survey in October and November)
- challenges faced by the self-employed (survey in September and October)
- NMW or NLW enquiry
- how to prepare for Brexit
- HMRC’s digital services
- to arrange compliance check interview
If you receive a request for a compliance interview by phone you should refer the call directly to us as the authorised agent.
Written by the Tax Advice Network