We have had reports of clients receiving scam calls from imposters posing as HMRC and demanding instant payments for “outstanding debts”, whilst demonstrating very aggressive and threatening behaviour.
This includes making threats of warrants for arrest of the individual, which would never be made by HMRC in phone calls pursuing outstanding liabilities.
These calls can cover all aspects of tax from personal tax to PAYE and everything in between and the caller often threatens legal action and/or damage to the reputation of the business if the “outstanding debt” is not paid immediately. Some callers also state that only payments made by personal debit card/BACS only.
Whilst the calls may sound very convincing, if you are unsure please hang up and call HMRC back directly, using the general helplines from the HMRC website, to check the accuracy of the call. You can also check any details against this guide which explains examples of bogus contact and phishing emails and of course, please remain vigilant.
HMRC has a dedicated customer protection team which targets scammers – simply forward details of any suspected scams to email@example.com, or forward suspected scam texts to 60599 and they will investigate further.
If you would like any further advice about protecting yourself from fraudulent calls, please get in touch with our tax team who will be happy to provide further guidance.