With the filing deadline for tax returns for the year ended 5 April 2022 fast approaching, now is the time that fraudsters attempt to contact people as they know that they are more likely to be in contact with HMRC.

HMRC have advised that in the last 12 months alone they have responded to 181,296 reports of supposed contact from HMRC which includes texts, e-mails and phone calls.

HMRC have various methods that can be used to report any contact from fraudsters and have a web page dedicated to advising what tricks fraudsters use to make you think you are being contacted by them see Frauds, tricks and scams.

The most important thing is that you keep alert to the situation and to not panic because you have “so say” been contacted by HMRC.

I have had experience of this having received a phone call, which is actually a recorded message, from “HMRC” saying that I need to contact them.

I have also had clients and family members that have received an e-mail, saying that you are due a large refund, and recorded messages via telephone saying that if you do not contact HMRC you are at risk of being sent to prison for tax fraud.

All that you can do is stay alert and if in doubt contact HMRC using the details on their website at https://www.gov.uk/contact-hmrc.