HMRC’s press release states:
‘Fraudsters alleging to be from HMRC send text messages to unsuspecting members of the public. In these messages they will make false claims, such as suggesting they are due a tax rebate. Messages will usually include links to websites that harvest personal information or spread malware. This can in turn lead to identity fraud and the theft of people’s personal savings.’
HMRC have confirmed that they will never contact taxpayers who are due a tax refund by text message or by email.
HMRC’s Director of Customer Services, Angela MacDonald, said:
‘HMRC is focused on becoming the most digitally advanced tax authority in the world, and a big part of that relates to keeping our customers safe from online scammers.’
‘As email and website scams become less effective, fraudsters are increasingly turning to text messages to con taxpayers. But as these numbers show, we won’t rest until these criminals are out of avenues to exploit.’
‘We have made significant progress is cutting down these types of crime, but one of the most effective ways to tackle it is still to help the public spot the tell-tale signs of fraud.’
To read details of the measures taken by HMRC and other advice on spotting fraud visit the link below.
Internet link: GOV.UK scam-text-messages
Updated list of professional subscriptions
Employees are allowed to claim tax relief on their annual professional fees or subscriptions to some HMRC approved professional organisations. The costs are tax deductible generally where the individual must have membership to do their job or it is helpful for their work. Where the fees are paid by the individual’s employer this will not generally result in a benefit in kind charge.
HMRC have updated the list of approved bodies which also includes not only details of the professional bodies that are approved but details of qualifying annual subscriptions for journals.
Internet link: GOV.UK/professional-bodies
What will the Spring Statement bring?
We had two Budgets in 2017 and the Spring Statement is planned for Tuesday 13 March. The Chancellor Philip Hammond has previously stated that at the Spring Statement he will respond to the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast, consider longer-term tax challenges and start consultations on how they can be addressed. The government has the option to make immediate changes to tax policy at the Spring Statement if the economic circumstances require it.