Beware of scams promising tax rebates

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is warning self-assessment customers to be on their guard following the self-assessment deadline after more than 570,000 scams were reported in the last year.

At this time of year, self-assessment customers are at increased risk of falling victim to scams, even if these do not mention self-assessment. 

Victims can be taken in by scam texts, emails or calls either offering a ‘refund’ or demanding unpaid tax, thinking that they are genuine HMRC communications referring to their self-assessment return. 

In the 12 months to January 2022, nearly 220,000 scams reported to HMRC offered bogus tax rebates.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: ‘If someone contacts you saying they’re from HMRC, wanting you to transfer money or give personal information, be on your guard. 

‘Never let yourself be rushed, and if you’re in any doubt then check our ‘HMRC scams’ advice on GOV.UK.’

HMRC gave tax payers an extra month to submit a completed tax return and over one million filed by 28 February, avoiding a late filing penalty. 

Customers have until 1 April to pay their outstanding tax bill or set up a Time to Pay arrangement to avoid receiving a late payment penalty. Interest has been applied to all outstanding balances since 1 February.