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As a new record is set, contractors are warned of a fresh scam

As a new record is set, contractors are warned of a fresh scam

A last minute rush resulted in a record number of individuals using HMRC’s website to submit their self assessment tax returns in 2010.

Figures from HMRC showed that 6,429,899 people, including many contractor accountants, used the online facility in advance of the January 31st deadline. This is a 12% increase on last year and accounts for 75% of all returns.

The data further showed that staggering 384,638 people waited until the last 24 hours before submitting their tax return, with the busiest period between 4pm – 5pm on 29th January. Anyone who missed the deadline faces a £100 fine.

The downside of the online system is that a number of taxpayers have been targeted by ‘phishing’ crooks. The government has issued a warning for taxpayers not to respond to e-mails offering tax rebates.

According to HMRC, a number of people, including contractors, have been sent e-mails saying they are entitled to a tax refund and must complete an online form with their personal details, in order to obtain the funds.

The government has warned that anyone who responds to such correspondence faces having their bank accounts and credit cards “emptied”.

“We only ever contact customers who are due a refund in writing by post,” an HMRC statement explained.

Taxpayers were also told that the department “never uses emails, telephone calls or external companies in these circumstances” and were “strongly urged” to forward any suspect e-mails to HMRC to investigate.

We would also like to take this opportunity to stress to all our readers the importance of ignoring all emails that ask you to divulge personal information such as bank account details.

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Image: 225/365 – scam by B Rosen

A last minute rush resulted in a record number of people using HMRC online tax return facility to set their tax records straight this year.

Figures published on Monday showed that 6,429,899 people filed online ahead of the January 31st deadline. This is a 12% increase on last year and accounts for 75% of all returns.

Financial secretary to the treasury, Stephen Timms, said: “More people than ever before are now filing their tax returns online.

“It’s easier, quicker and HMRC processes your return faster, so any money you’re owed is repaid more quickly. If you haven’t yet made the switch from paper to online, do so, and join the millions who are benefiting already.”

The figures also showed that 384,638 people waited until January 29th to file, with the busy 16:00 to 17:00 period attracting almost 40,000 taxpayers to the online service. Anyone who missed the deadline faces a £100 fine.

The downside of this online system is that a number of taxpayers have been targeted by online ‘phishing’ crooks. The government has issued a warning for taxpayers not to respond to e-mails offering tax rebates.

According to HMRC, a number of people, including contractors, have been sent e-mails saying they are entitled to a tax refund and must complete an online form with their personal details, in order to obtain the funds.

The government has warned that anyone who responds to such correspondence faces having their bank accounts and credit cards “emptied”.

We only ever contact customers who are due a refund in writing by post,” an HMRC statement explained.

Taxpayers were also told that the department “never uses emails, telephone calls or external companies in these circumstances” and were “strongly urged” to forward any suspect e-mails to HMRC to investigate.

We would also like to take this opportunity to stress to all our readers the importance of ignoring all emails that ask you to divulge personal information such as bank account details.

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