The Coronavirus pandemic has seen a significant rise in the number of phishing emails and texts claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

We have become aware of a scam email purporting to be from HMRC notifying the recipient that HMRC has determined that they are eligible to receive a tax grant claim as part of the fifth iteration of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant. The email then provides a link to sign in to, again what claims to be, your HMRC online account. Here you are invited to share your passport and driving licence details as a means of identification, I would no doubt expect you’ll need to share your bank account details too!

The fifth grant covers the period from May 2021 to September 2021 and will be open to claims from late July. There is further guidance anticipated this month. Current advice suggests that HMRC will be in contact with those eligible in mid-July 2021.

Current published guidance can be found here:

As always, please be vigilant if you are in receipt of such emails or texts. HMRC’s comment is: ‘Fraudsters are targeting those who might be claiming SEISS grants. To guard against fraud, any emails and SMS messages from HMRC do not include active links. If a taxpayer receives an email or SMS purporting to come from HMRC which includes an active link, that email or SMS is a scam.’

Please only ever access your Government Gateway account independently.