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Even cleverer HMRC phishing scam

There is a new phishing scam going round in the form of an email that purports to come from HM Revenue & Customs. This is just to warn you not to click on the link in any such email you receive. HM Revenue & Customs will never email a taxpayer concerning a tax refund or any other matter. Part of the text of the current “phishing” scam email is as follows:”Taxpayer ID: (a “reference”)Tax Type: INCOME TAXIssue: Unreported/Underreported Income (Fraud Application)Please review your tax statement on HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) website … Continue Reading

New tax amnesty and old habits

We are starting to hear a little more about the new tax amnesty in the UK, called by HM Revenue & Customs the “New Disclosure Opportunity (NDO),” which follows on from the 2007 amnesty. Now we know that since the original amnesty, which followed on from HMRC’s victory in the Courts over the UK banks defending unsuccessfully their Channel Island branch customers, HMRC has come by a lot more information. Indeed I can infer from what I have heard on the grapevine that the acquisition of information concerning the Lichtenstein accounts has borne fruit, and will continue to … Continue Reading

Taxpayers as customers and the service they receive

I, in common with most other taxpayers, resent being called a customer of HM Revenue & Customs, when there really is no choice of supplier. We are captives of the system and we cannot take our business elsewhere. This is an old saw, but if we are customers, we have to ask what we are getting in terms of service; value for what we pay is another matter, and one of a political nature.HMRC, or at least the Inland Revenue as they were called, did once upon a time provide a service to individual taxpayers, prior to Self … Continue Reading

Ulterior motives and deadline woes

Well, the deadline for submitting paper tax returns for 2007-08 has passed with Halloween, and with it the Government’s trick or treat. The trouble is that this messing around with deadlines really is a trick. We have until 31st January 2009 to submit Self Assessment Returns online, and the real reason for the earlier deadline for submitting paper ones is to force online submission to save costs. HM Revenue & Customs probably hoped that people would not get their acts and papers together by the end of October, and would be forced to investigate the online process, either doing it … Continue Reading

Tax Returns and Crimewatch

People in my business have been wrestling with a problem outside our control for the last couple of months, and that relates to Tax Returns. For a few years, now, HM Revenue & Customs (as it now is) has been encouraging everyone who files tax returns to “do it on-line”, and especially tax agents such as my firm. This will be the fourth year we have filed clients’ tax returns on-line, and by last “tax season” nearly all the problems had been ironed out. Most agents use third party software to file on-line, as the Revenue’s own system is … Continue Reading

The lighter side

I would not want people to think that I spend the whole time moaning about the government’s fiscal policy. The trouble is that I started this blog at the time when there had been announced a number of ill-considered policies. But, hey, let’s not say it is all doom and gloom.

As a tax practitioner I have to say that HM Revenue & Customs’ online filing system has been working well this year, at least for Self Assessment Tax Returns. I do not use the online filing for other purposes sufficiently to judge. … Continue Reading