HMRC News

HMRC issues phone call scam warning

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is warning taxpayers to be vigilant following reports that thieves are making phone calls pretending to be the taxman.

The fraudsters inform taxpayers they are due a tax rebate, and ask for their bank card details over the phone. They then attempt to take money from the account using the details provided. Victims risk having their bank accounts emptied and their personal details sold on to other organised criminal gangs.

The warning comes amid a recent surge in the number of tax scam “phishing” emails reported to HMRC. In the last three months, HMRC has shut down over 180 websites that were responsible for sending out the fake tax rebate emails.

Chris Hopson, Director of Customer Contact at HMRC said:

“We only ever contact customers who are due a tax refund in writing by post. We never use telephone calls, emails or external companies in these circumstances. We strongly urge anyone receiving such a phone call not to give any information to the caller, but report it to the police straightaway.

“If customers receive an email claiming to be from HMRC, we recommend they send it to us for investigation before deleting it permanently.”

HMRC thoroughly investigates phishing attacks and works with other law enforcement agencies in the UK and overseas. In the last 18 months, scam networks have been shut down in a number of countries, including Austria, Mexico, the UK, South Korea, the USA, Thailand and Japan.

HMRC strongly advises customers to:

Check the advice published at www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/index.htm to see if the email you have received is listed
Forward suspicious emails to HMRC at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .ukThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and then delete it from your computer/mail account
Do not click on websites, links contained in suspicious emails or open attachments
Follow advice from www.getsafeonline.co.uk

If you have reason to believe that you have been the victim of an email scam, report the matter to your bank/card issuer as soon as possible. If in doubt please check with HMRC at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/fraud-attempts.htm

Working from Home Allowance Changes

From 6 April 2012 HMRC has increased the guideline rate which employers can use to reimburse employees for additional household expenses incurred because they have to work from home. For 2012-13 the guideline rate will be £4.00 per week.

2012-13 PAYE Coding Notice - for individuals

Details of the new tax code

During January, February and March HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will be sending out new tax codes for 2012-13.

PAYE Coding Notice

During January, February or March you may get a PAYE Coding Notice from HMRC telling you what your new tax code will be for the tax year 2012-13. Your new tax code will be used by your employer or pension provider from the 6 April 2012 to make sure you pay the right amount of tax.

Not everyone needs to get a Coding Notice, so don't worry if you don't receive one - your employer or pension provider will still be able to update your tax code on the 6 April.

Your Coding Notice is for you to keep.

HMRC will send your new code to your employer or pension provider.