One of our clients recently received a phone call from an extremely convincing gentleman purporting to be from HMRC. He was politely following up an unpaid tax bill and requested payment over the phone.

Our client was 100% certain she didn’t owe any tax. After a few minutes of respectful and professional conversation, the scammer let out an expletive and slammed the phone down in frustration.

Anyone knowing that a tax bill was coming up for payment, or indeed that a tax bill was overdue, could have easily fallen for it as HMRC officers do chase tax bills by phone. If in doubt put the phone down yourself. Don’t pay over the phone. Pay your bills in the normal way and on time. Contact us before taking action and tell the caller this is what you are going to do.

Other scams we know about:

•    Fake emails

•    Asking for HMRC debts to be paid using iTunes gift cards (scammers ask for the card’s serial numbers)

•    To get the phone scam underway, scammers are using an automated message saying that HMRC has been trying to reach you about legal action being taken, then giving a list of Options, one of which is an Option to speak to your case officer.

If you are one of our clients, and you get a call from HMRC that you are the slightest bit uncertain about, just take their number and say that your accountant will call them back to discuss the matter.

David Hancock