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⚠ SCAM ALERT!!! ⚠ Watch out for HMRC cold caller scam

  • In the latest ruse, scammers are cold calling people and leaving messages in which they impersonate HMRC members of staff and tell people they are under investigation for non-payment of taxes.

    They seem to be targeting unsuspecting vulnerable and elderly people who will likely be panicked by such a message.

    The message states that they need to call a certain number back, to discuss their situation straight away. If they call it, they are asked for their bank details in order to make a payment of ‘taxes’.

    This scam has been widely reported, but despite warnings by HMRC, the scammers seem unperturbed.

    LITRG has issued some tips for taxpayers who may be concerned about this type of call.

    Key points:

    • HMRC sometimes use phone calls or automated messages (generally using a reference number that you recognise) but are unlikely to contact you about a matter such as this out of the blue;
    • telephone numbers can easily be faked. Never trust the number you see on your telephone display, even if it looks like an official HMRC number;
    • if you receive a suspicious cold call, end it immediately. Call HMRC directly to check if it was a genuine call – you can confirm the official call centre numbers on
    • report these incidents on the Action Fraud website, or call them on 0300 123 2040 (please note this number will be charged at normal network rates). Monday to Friday 09:00 – 18:00.
    • report the full details of the scam to HMRC (date, time, phone number used and content of the call) using email

    Article credited to: Sara White Editor, Accountancy magazine and Accountancy Daily, published by Croner-i Ltd

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Firms get reminder on corporation tax changes

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has issued a reminder about important changes that will be affecting corporation tax this April.

Under the changes, all company tax returns sent in from April 2011 must be filed online for accounting periods ending after 31 March 2010.

What’s more, returns will need to be submitted in a data format known as Inline XBRL or iXBRL.

Corporation tax payments must likewise be made electronically from April 2011.

The changes are not confined to limited companies. The new rules will apply to other organisations that pay corporation tax, including clubs, societies, associations, co-operatives, charities and other unincorporated bodies.

Companies can file online using either commercial software or HMRC’s own filing software. The latter is specifically aimed at companies with less complex tax affairs.

There is already a wide range of commercial software available, with more coming onto the market in the near future.

More information on the commercial software options can be found

Firms that still need to sign up for electronic corporation tax filing can and then click ‘register for corporation tax online’.

Alternatively, HMRC and Companies House have launched a new joint filing service for company accounts.

The service allows companies with relatively straightforward financial affairs to send their accounts in iXBRL format to HMRC and Companies House as part of their company tax return.

To use the service, firms must register with HMRC online services and enrol for corporation tax online. A template can then be used to submit accounts to both HMRC and Companies House.

More information can be found at

If you have any concerns over the new filing system, we will be more than pleased to offer expert advice.

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New contact number for employee tax enquiries

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced that, in future, there will be just a single telephone point of contact for employee tax enquiries.

The number is 0845 300 0627.

Employers as well as employees can use this number if there are issues with employee tax codes.

But for any other enquiries related to the running of a payroll, employers should continue to call the Employer Helpline.

The new number is to replace some 60 older numbers, which are due to be ‘switched off’, said HMRC.

Employers are being urged to amend any correspondence with employees so that references to tax offices include only the new number.


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HMRC warns of fraudsters’ latest tax rebate scam

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced that 180 websites that send scam emails to taxpayers have been shut down over the past three months.

The “phishing” emails promise recipients a tax refund in return for details of their bank accounts and other personal information.

The promise is, in fact, bogus, and the criminals use the details they cull from the scam either to empty victims’ bank accounts or to commit ID fraud.

However, HMRC also warned that fraudsters have now begun cold calling potential victims.

Using a non-existent tax rebate as the lure, they ask for bank card details over the phone.

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 advises advises customers to check the advice published at to see if the suspect email is listed there.

People should forward suspicious emails to HMRC at and then delete it from their computer and mail account.

They should not click on website links contained in suspicious emails or open attachments.

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