Beware! taxpayers targeted with aggressive HMRC letters

Thousands of taxpayers across the UK have been targeted by scammers purporting to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), who have asked them to pay taxes or penalties that are owed.

Using an official-looking letterhead, the fraudsters have done their best to convince some taxpayers that they have outstanding tax bills, sending letters demanding payment of a past tax liability or penalty.

In the letter, individuals are asked to call to help discuss payment, but despite claiming to be official and authentic, these scams have some tell-tale signs. These include:

  • Incorrect payment references
  • A telephone number that is similar to an HMRC number as it starts with 0300 200, but it is not an actual HMRC number
  • Claims dating back further than six years, which would not be typical for HMRC.

HMRC has clarified that it would never ask for a telephone conversation to request a payment but would rather just request payment in the initial correspondence.

Many of those targeted have found that if you search the telephone number on the letters via Google, it comes up with a warning that this is a very aggressive HMRC scam. Some letters even contain errors and spelling mistakes.

HMRC has produced detailed guidance on scams, which can be found here.

If you are contacted by HMRC regarding penalties or outstanding tax and you aren’t sure if it is genuine, please get in touch at the earliest opportunity.

Posted in Business.