HMRC is warning individuals not to share their personal information online to avoid their identities being used to claim bogus Self-Assessment tax refunds.
HMRC is aware that criminals are attempting to obtain customers’ Government Gateway logins and other personal details, enabling them to register for Income Tax Self-Assessment and submit bogus tax refund claims before pocketing the repayment.
Individuals, ranging from teenagers to pensioners, are being targeted on social media platforms by fraudsters seeking to ‘borrow’ their identities. In return, the individual is promised a cut of the tax refund ‘risk-free’.
Handing over sensitive personal information to criminals like this, even inadvertently, risks individuals involving themselves in tax fraud, and having to pay back the full value of the fraudulent claim.
Customers should therefore only deal with HMRC directly or through their tax advisor in relation to their Self-Assessment tax refunds.
Folkes Worton – Accounting for the Future