Increase in HMRC Scams
HMRC has dedicated an in-house team to cybersecurity and has issued alarming statistics showing that scams using the HMRC name are increasing, particularly when it comes to telephone scams.
HMRC reported that in April 2020 they received 425 reports of telephone scams, but in September 2020 reported telephone scams increased to 46,015!
The scammers use telephone numbers which show to receivers, as they use illegally taken over phone numbers. If you take the telephone call, you will usually hear from a well-spoken person who warns that HRMC have issued a warrant for unpaid tax and you need to take immediate action by pressing 1 on your telephone.
Do not press 1 – and immediately hang up if you receive a call like this and report the call to HMRC.
Scammers are also sending text messages or emails – claiming to be from HMRC. They are usually easy to spot because of the language used in the messages. If you receive an email like this delete it or forward it to HMRC. Emails can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org and text messages can be sent to 60599.
If you require further information as to recognising a scam using HMRC then search for ‘scams’ on GOV.UK.
UK Tax Take
With the Chancellor’s Budget due on 3rd March 2021, we thought you may like to see the UK tax take numbers being provided to the Chancellor by HMRC.
Pre COVID-19, things were looking rosy for the Exchequer as HMRC reported the total UK tax take for the tax year 2019-2020 to have increased as compared to the tax year 2018 -2019 by nearly £9bn to reach £636.7bn.
However, the Chancellor will be concerned that in the current tax year COVID-19 has hit the UK tax take such that for the 6 months to October 2020 the tax take is down by £70.6bn compared the same period in 2019! The above-mentioned tax take stats will be giving the Chancellor much concern and will limit his choice and ability to act.
We will be publishing a report on the Chancellor’s Budget next month, so watch this space.
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