A recent round of written correspondence emanating from HMRC is mistakenly being regarded as a scam by recipients, according to accountants.
The correspondence relates to self-assessment repayments and asks the taxpayer to provide various pieces of personal information.
The letters, which are being issued from HMRC’s ‘Individual and Small Business Compliance - Direct Tax Repayment Credibility’, are triggered where HMRC’s risk assessment identifies the possibility of a fraudulent claim for a tax repayment.
HMRC has advised that they will not process tax repayment claims, and that they will remove the claimant from self-assessment, in the absence of a response to their letter with the further personal information requested.
Whilst caution against phishing attempts is strongly advised, Saffery Champness warns that the correspondence is being mistakenly regarded as a scam.
Martyn Dobinson, partner at the firm said: “We are aware of concerns being raised by our rural clients in receipt of this correspondence from HMRC.
"We are all now much more aware of phishing attempts and other scams, and since these letters ask for information and copies of documents to enable HMRC to verify the taxpayer’s identity, it’s no surprise that they are being treated with suspicion."
He added: “HMRC is saying that where this information is not supplied, refund claims will not be processed, and that will include genuine claims in most circumstances.
“Our advice for any individual or business in receipt of such a letter is to first ascertain that it has been sent by HMRC."