Newsletter February 2017


We have received quite a number of our clients ringing us saying they have received an email from HMRC stating they are due a refund, is this correct?. May we remind clients and readers that HMRC tax refund scam emails are doing the rounds again? Even though it is a standard phishing scam, many taxpayers do fall for it. The worst part is that such emails often contain HMRC’s logo and official style reference which can make it difficult for the individual to detect the fraudulent activity. To save yourself from fraud, please keep in mind the following points:
• Have we or your own accountant advised you that you are due a tax refund;
• HMRC will never contact you via an email or a text message about anything confidential. They will correspond on the phone or by post;
• HMRC will never ask you to disclose sensitive or personal information on email or text, such as your bank or credit/debit card details, or your pin number;
• The language used in email spams is frequently poor. If you read them carefully, they are often easy to spot;
• Do not visit the website contained within the email.
For more details, go to the HMRC website page at https://www.gov.uk and type “tackling phishing emails” in the search box.

An HMRC report states that it prevented 8 million malicious emails from reaching customers between April 2015 and March 2016. Let’s hope we all can make a difference at our level by staying alert. If you receive a suspicious message by email or text, please report it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

MAKING TAX DIGITAL UPDATE

We have also received a few enquiries from client’s regarding Making Tax Digital. Over the last summer HMRC published six consultation documents on MTD that set out detailed plans on how HMRC propose to fundamentally charge the method by which taxpayers, particularly the self-employed and landlords, send information to HMRC. This will in effect be the end of the tax return as we know it. We will be advising our clients accordingly and full details will be published here when they are fully known.
At the time of writing this update, HMRC have not yet replied to the responses to the consultation documents.
However, The Treasury Committee met on 10 January 2017 and the comments were not very favourable for HMRC and suggested a more realistic commencement date for MTD should be 2019/2020. So, WATCH THIS SPACE!

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