Navigating Tax Scams: Identifying Fraudulent Communications from HMRC

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has recently updated its guidelines to help you recognise fraudulent attempts to contact you via phone, email, or text messages. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and understand the signs of a scam.

Key Indicators of a Tax Scam

If you receive a communication claiming to be from HMRC, be cautious if it:

  • Pressures you to act quickly;
  • Uses threats or intimidation;
  • Comes unexpectedly;
  • Requests personal or financial information, such as your bank details;
  • Instructs you to transfer money;
  • Promises a refund, tax rebate, or grant.

Understanding Genuine HMRC Communication

HMRC has clarified its approach to contacting taxpayers to help distinguish authentic communications from scams.

  1. Phone Calls: Genuine HMRC representatives will never threaten you with arrest or leave voicemails about legal action.
  2. Text Messages: While HMRC may send texts linking to GOV.UK information or HMRC webchat, they will never solicit personal or financial details via text. Offers of tax refunds for personal information are scams.
  3. WhatsApp: HMRC may send reminders if you’ve subscribed to the UK Government Channel, but won’t engage in two-way communications. Unsolicited messages via WhatsApp are not from HMRC.
  4. QR Codes: HMRC may use QR codes in letters directing you to GOV.UK guidance without requesting personal information. They are used for secure redirections online, not for collecting data.

Verifying Authenticity

To verify whether a communication is genuinely from HMRC, consult their official website: Check a list of genuine HMRC contacts.

For more detailed guidance and examples of phishing emails, suspicious calls, and texts, visit: Phishing emails and bogus contact – HM Revenue and Customs examples.

If you’re uncertain about the legitimacy of any HMRC communication you’ve received, contact us immediately. We’re here to help verify its authenticity.

How Beavis Morgan Can Help

At Beavis Morgan, we understand the stress and confusion that tax scams can cause. Our team is ready to assist you with any concerns regarding tax returns or related matters, ensuring you don’t have to deal with HMRC directly. We offer comprehensive support in tax compliance and planning, safeguarding your interests.

For assistance or to discuss your tax concerns, contact your usual Beavis Morgan Partner or email us at Let us take the worry out of navigating tax communications, allowing you to focus on what matters most to you and your business.