There have been nearly 1m reports of scams involving HMRC during 2018/2019, typically emails or even worse calls to tax payer’s mobile phones.
They normally mention outstanding tax and threaten that warrants will be put out for the tax payer’s arrest. They make the money by people making the payments or calling a premium rate number, or installing malware on your equipment.
It can seem convincing and quite scary, particularly if you happen to have started self-employment or have a coincidental matter running with HMRC.
Our advice is to remember that HMRC will not contact you in this way unless there has already been significant previous correspondence which you have ignored. So an unexpected contact is likely to be a scam.
So hang up immediately and don’t engage with the caller or give any personal information, and don’t return the call. Genuine HMRC callers will be aware of the risk of scams and be understanding if you feel you need to check things out.
Speak to your accountant first, or check out you tax affairs online by signing up for a personal tax account directly with HMRC. The HMRC website also has details of any scam they are aware of, click https://www.gov.uk/topic/dealing-with-hmrc/phishing-scams for the latest.