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HMRC has issued a warning to both taxpayers and accountants that there will be another rise in the number of self-assessment scams, as the deadline for completing returns draws near.

The tax authority sends out thousands of emails to those who need to complete a tax return at this time of year, with the deadline for doing so being 31st January. This also makes it a prime period for scammers to target those same people with fake emails and calls claiming that they are entitled to tax refunds or rebates, which is exactly what’s happening.

The majority of the scams fall into this category, with roughly 500,000 of the nearly 850,000 fake emails and calls reported to HMRC during the past year telling the recipients that they were due refunds or rebates.

Karl Khan, the Interim Director General in charge of customer services at HMRC, has stated that the scammers are exploiting the stress that people feel about the deadline to trick them into sharing financial and personal data. He went on to urge people to think carefully before providing this information if they get a call or message that claims to be an official HMRC one.

While this warning has also been issued to accountants acting on behalf of taxpayers, using an accountant who is qualified to deal with tax return services in Goole or anywhere they live is one way people can reduce the risk of being caught out by this sort of scam.

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