Self Assessment filers are urged by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to be on the lookout for scam texts, emails and phone calls from fraudsters.
With around 12 million people expected to submit a Self Assessment tax return for the 2022 to 2023 tax year before the 31st January 2024 deadline, fraudsters prey on filers by impersonating HMRC.
The scams take different approaches. Some offer a rebate; others tell customers that they need to update their tax details or threaten immediate arrest for tax evasion.
HMRC is reminding customers to be wary of approaches by fraudsters in the run up to the Self Assessment deadline. Criminals are great pretenders who try and dupe people by sending emails, phone calls and texts which mimic government messages to make them appear authentic.
Unexpected contacts like these should set alarm bells ringing, so take your time and check HMRCscams advice on GOV.UK.
Filers can report any suspicious communications to HMRC:
- forward suspicious texts claiming to be from HMRC to 60599
- forward emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- report tax scam phone calls to HMRC on GOV.UK.
HMRC states it works to protect the public from scammers.
SA filers are reminded that they do not need to wait until 31st January 2024 before filing their tax return, they can submit it before then but do not have to pay until the deadline, unless they choose to. Filing earlier allows them to find out what they owe sooner or if they are owed money, get their refund.
Help and support is available on to help filers complete their return, there is no need to call. HMRC has a wide range of online resources to help file a tax return including a series of video tutorials on YouTube and help and support guidance on GOV.UK alongside HMRC digital assistant, HMRC app, community forums and the help and support email service.
Want to know more?
If you think you no longer need to complete a Self Assessment tax return for the 2022 to 2023 tax year, tell HMRC before the deadline on 31st January 2024 to avoid penalties.
HMRC has produced 2 YouTube videos explaining how filers can go online and stop Self Assessment if they are self-employed or are not self-employed.
The deadlines for self assessment tax returns for 2022 to 2023 tax year are 31st October 2023 for paper returns and 31st January 2024 for online returns.
The quickest and simplest way to file a tax return is online. Those who chose to file by paper can find out how to request a paper return. HMRC no longer automatically issue paper returns unless there’s a genuine reason to not file online.