By Mark Jones, director of Carmarthen-based Clay Shaw Butler chartered accountants and business consultants.
HMRC has announced that it has saved the public more than £2.4m by tackling fraudsters that trick them into using premium rate phone numbers for services that HMRC provide for free.
HMRC has reported that scammers create websites that look similar to HMRC’s official site and then direct the public to call numbers with extortionate costs in comparison to the low cost and no cost services that HMRC provides.
These websites promote premium rate phone numbers as a means of telephoning HMRC but these are call forwarding services which connect the unsuspecting to HMRC at a premium rate.
HMRC’s has confirmed that its genuine 0300 numbers are mainly free or charged at the local landline rate.
In other cases, websites charge for forwarding information to HMRC which can be provided free of charge via the GOV.UK website.
HMRC has successfully challenged the ownership of these websites, masquerading as official websites, and removed them from the hands of cheats.
Analysis carried out shows that had HMRC not taken this action then the public would have lost £2.4m to these scams.
A spokesman said: “We know that HMRC is the most spoofed government brand as criminals try to take advantage of the fact that everyone has some involvement with the tax authority.
“In this particular case, scammers try to dupe the public into paying large sums for services that are available for free or low cost.
“This is a brazen con, charging premium rates whilst simply redirecting calls to the real HMRC numbers that are available at low or no cost.
“It is a testament to the hard work of HMRC that they have prevented criminals extracting £2.4m from the public.”
Internet link for more information –
Meanwhile, HMRC has extended the payroll Real Time Information (RTI) late filing easement until April 2019.
Under RTI payroll obligations employers must submit details of payments made to employees on or before the day that wages are paid via a Full Payment Submission.
The updated guidance extends the easement, introduced in April 2015 to April 2019.
The easement applies where an employer’s FPS is late but all reported payments on the FPS are within three days of the employees’ payday.
This easement applies from 6 March 2015 to 5 April 2019.
However, HMRC go on to clarify that employers who persistently file after the payment date but within three days may be contacted or considered for a penalty.
Potential monthly penalties range from £100 to £400 depending on the size of the employer.
Please contact the team at Clay Shaw Butler for help or advice with payroll matters.
Internet link for more information via GOV.UK PAYE guidance
In other news, HMRC proposes to introduce new VAT rules for construction services which are subject to consultation.
HMRC has published a draft statutory instrument for technical consultation together with a draft explanatory memorandum and a draft tax information and impact note.
Under the draft legislation supplies of standard or reduced-rated construction services between construction or building businesses will be subject to a domestic reverse charge.
This means that the customer will be liable to account for VAT due, instead of the supplier.
The legislation will not apply to specified supplies made to customers who are consumers, or to those that use specified supplies to make other supplies, such as those selling new houses.
The legislation is expected to take effect from 1 October 2019.
More details of the proposed new rules can be found at the following link.
Finally, HMRC have issued the latest version of the Employer Bulletin.
This edition has articles on a number of issues including
- P11D and P11D(b) filing and payment deadlines
- benefits in kind with cash allowances, flexible benefits packages and salary sacrifice
- important information about childcare voucher and directly-contracted childcare schemes
- Construction Industry Scheme – helpful reminders for subcontractors
If you have any queries on payroll matters, then please contact the team at Clay Shaw Butler.
Internet link: HMRC Employer Bulletin –
You can find out more about money matters on the Clay Shaw Butler website (under our news for business section) –
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