[UK] Genuine HMRC Contact And Recognising Phishing Emails And Texts

Whilst we concede that we have not been plagued by bogus HMRC correspondence lately, the Global Payroll Association believes it is important to point out that this may only be a temporary lull.  Previously, our Education and Policy “in box” has been flooded with emails claiming that tax refunds are due and asking us to enter personal details to receive these amounts.

Therefore we would like to point members and readers to HMRC’s guidance on how to recognise genuine contact from HMRC and how to tell when an email or text message is phishing or bogus.  This is updated periodically and we will publish updates to this guidance as and when it is changed.  The last updates are replicated below.  These refer to various sections being updated which are HMRC’s current genuine communications with employers.  When they are no longer current HMRC communications they are replaced or overwritten:

31 October 2019

Section 1.1 was updated with information on research to look at how communications can help people get their tax right first time. 

12 November 2019

Section 1.1 was updated with HMRC’s Tax Credits 2019 Renewals SMS (text message) campaign.  Section 1.27 was updated with Tax-free Childcare emails and section 3.7 was updated with Tax-free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare SMS messages.

14 November 2019

Section 1.1 was updated with information about the Large Business Survey.  Sections 3.2 and 3.9 were updated with information about SMS text messages for self-assessment and changes to childcare costs reclaimed through tax credits.

18 November 2019

Sections 1.1 and 1.2 were updated with information about tax credits SMS text messages to advise customers to telephone HMRC regarding their tax credit claim, and the mid-sized business customer experience survey 2019.

Global Payroll Association Comment

We applaud HMRC for producing this guidance and keeping it up to date.  It is a sad fact that even HMRC are victims of individuals pretending to be someone they are not. 

Whilst it is not an employer responsibility to communicate this information to their workers, it is another thing to add to the list of things to be aware of in case there are queries.