The end of January sees the deadline for the return of your self-assessment income tax returns.
Landlords, in particular, are being warned to be on the lookout for tax scams – following some 900,000 reports from taxpayers public during the past 12 months about suspicious emails, texts and telephone calls purporting to come from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
On the 26th of November, the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) relayed a warning from HMRC, including advice on how to avoid falling prey to scammers.
Beware of fraudsters contacting you and offering a tax refund or otherwise pretending to be agents of HMRC. You are likely to be asked to click on a link taking you to a fake webpage which asks you to enter personal information including your bank details. That information is then used to steal your money.
HMRC reminds taxpayers that – just like your bank – they will never ask you for your password, PIN number or bank details. Any text message, ‘phone call or email which does so should immediately be viewed with suspicion.
If your suspicions are raised in any way, you are advised to report any emails or texts – which might be attempted “phishing” – to HMRC’s official email address firstname.lastname@example.org or to forward them any suspicious text messages on 60599.
If you believe you have been the victim of scammers and suffered any financial loss, make your report to Action Fraud by telephoning 0300 123 2040 or use the website’s online fraud reporting tool.