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Top Tax Scams Every Business Owner Needs To Watch Out For In 2024

For a lot of businesses, the end of the tax year is around the corner, which means so are tax scams. Without fail, every year, individuals and business owners alike fall victim to tax scams, resulting in the loss of substantial amounts of money and sensitive personal data. According to the Better Business Bureau, taxpayers lost £5.7 billion due to tax scams and fraud in 2022 alone. In today’s article, you’ll discover the top scams you need to be on the lookout for to reduce your chances of becoming these scammers’ next victim.

The HMRC has specific methods of contacting you

One way to lessen your chances of falling for scams is to know how the HMRC will contact you. Per the HMRC website, the HMRC will not initiate communication with taxpayers through e-mail, text messages or social media platforms for the purpose of soliciting personal or financial information. The HMRC’s main method of communication is physical mail; however, if they’re unable to reach you via mail, they may initiate a phone call. If this is the case, they will still try not to solicit any personal or financial information over the phone, and they will never threaten you or demand payment. If you’re second-guessing anything you receive, you can check out this article to help you figure out if it’s really the HMRC  contacting you.

Here are the top scams to keep an eye on this tax season

The Refund Scam

The HMRC has issued a warning to taxpayers regarding a scam designed to deceive individuals into believing they are entitled to a refund. This is often the most common scam that we see happen every year.

In this scheme, recipients receive a formal notification, usually a letter, stating that they have an “unclaimed refund” available. There are variations of this, including one scam that uses a cardboard envelope from what looks to be a certified delivery service and bears the HMRC logo.

Similar to many scams, the deceptive letter provides contact information and a phone number that is in no way affiliated with the HMRC. What sets this scheme apart is its request for various sensitive personal details from taxpayers, including detailed images of driver’s licenses. Identity thieves seeking to get ahold of tax refunds and other confidential financial data can exploit such information. Stay vigilant and be cautious of such misleading communications. If something seems off, it probably is.

Identity Theft

If cybercriminals are able to get access to your personal information, they can file a fake tax return on your behalf and potentially collect a refund payment. The HMRC recently shared that more than 1 million tax returns were flagged last year for possible identity theft.

It’s good to file early before criminals have a chance, and if you get a notice about an alleged “duplicate tax return” or a notice saying that additional taxes are owed, contact the HMRC directly as soon as possible.

Customs duty scam

HMRC is aware of a text and email scam where the customer is told they must pay customs duty to receive a valuable parcel which does not exist.

These scams should not be confused with changes introduced on 1 January 2021, advising that some UK consumers buying goods from EU businesses might need to pay customs charges when their goods are delivered. Find out more about these new rules on

If in doubt, we advise you not to reply to anything suspicious, but to email HMRC at straight away and read HMRC phishing and scams guidance.

Suspicious phone calls

HMRC is aware of an automated phone call scam which will tell you HMRC is filing a lawsuit against you, and to press 1 to speak to a caseworker to make a payment. This is a scam and you should end the call immediately.

Other scam calls may refer to National Insurance number fraud or offer a tax refund and ask you to provide your bank or credit card information. If you cannot verify the identity of a caller, we recommend that you do not speak to them.

The “Additional Information Needed” Scam

If you receive an e-mail from the HMRC requesting that you submit a tax form, proceed with caution. While there are legitimate forms that taxpayers may be required to complete (such as the self-employed assessment), these are typically directed to registered companies, not their employees.

To steer clear of potential scams, it is recommended to disregard such messages and promptly report the fraud to the HMRC.

Be Smart And Protect Yourself

The tax season often sees a surge in scams, but with some vigilance identifying an HMRC imposter and protecting your finances and sensitive data becomes possible.

To enhance protection and mitigate the risk of identity theft, it is recommended to file your taxes early. Early filing reduces the window for scammers to impersonate you. When hiring a tax preparer, conduct thorough vetting and be wary of those promising substantial refunds without prior access to your information. For an added layer of security and peace of mind, explore a fraud protection service.

Cybercriminals never take a break. Tax scams are only one way they’re trying to steal your information and money. It’s important to have a full cyber security system in place to make sure your organization is protected at every possible entry point. We recommend getting a FREE third-party security assessment. Our team of experts will examine your entire network for vulnerabilities and help you map out a plan to fix them. In all the years we’ve been doing this, we’ve always found something.

To schedule your no-obligation assessment for your peace of mind,

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