By Mark Jones, director of Carmarthen-based Clay Shaw Butler chartered accountants and business consultants.
The taxman at HMRC has issued a warning to taxpayers regarding the latest tax refund scams.
These scams are targeting individuals via email and SMS messages.
HMRC is currently processing genuine tax refunds for the 2017/18 tax year and the fraudsters are sending scam messages which claim that taxpayers are entitled to a rebate.
These messages go on to request that they provide their personal and account details in order to make their claim.
HMRC is keen to stress that it will only ever inform individuals of a tax refund by post or through their employer, and never via email, text messaging or voicemail.
Commenting on the issue, Treasury Minister Mel Stride said:
“We know that criminals will try and use events like the end of the financial year, the self assessment deadline, and the issuing of tax refunds to target the public and attempt to get them to reveal their personal data.”
HMRC is advising taxpayers not to click on any links, download any attachments or provide any personal information, and to forward any suspect messages to HMRC.
Internet link for more information on the Government website –
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has joined forces with HMRC to urge underpaid workers to complain about National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) underpayments.
Recent figures show that the number of workers receiving the money they are owed has doubled.
During 2017/18, HMRC investigators identified £15.6 million in pay owed to more than a record 200,000 of the UK’s lowest paid workers.
This is an increase on the previous year’s figures of £10.9 million for more than 98,000 workers.
HMRC launched its online complaints service in January 2017 and believes this has contributed to the 132% increase in the number of complaints received over the last year and the amount of money HMRC has been able to recoup for those unfairly underpaid.
The figures are published as the government launches its annual advertising campaign which encourages workers to take action if they are not receiving the NMW or NLW.
The online campaign urges underpaid workers to proactively complain by completing an HMRC online form.
HMRC state that the types of business receiving most complaints include restaurants, bars, hotels and hairdressing.
Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said:
“Employers abusing the system and paying under the legal minimum are breaking the law.
“Short changing workers is a red line for this government and employers who cross the line will be identified by HMRC and forced to pay back every penny, and could be hit with fines of up to 200% of wages owed.
“I would urge all workers, if you think you might be being underpaid then you should check your pay and call Acas on 0300 123 1100 for free and confidential advice.”
Please contact the team at Clay Shaw Butler for help with payroll matters.
Internet link to the Government website for more information –
You can find out more about money matters on the Clay Shaw Butler website (under our news for business section) –
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