HMRC are to start communicating by email with taxpayers.
HMRC will never, ever contact you about a tax rebate by email. Never!
Therefore, any email you receive on this subject is a scam. Often it will come from an email address that looks like HMRC, but with a subtle tweak – HRMC.co.uk or HMRC.com. Whatever the address, you should ignore it.
However, sometimes you actually want to contact HMRC by email and this can be difficult. Unless it’s a generic query via their website, they’ll rarely give out email addresses. The only time we’ve had to use a fax machine in the past year was to send documents to HMRC – they weren’t allowed to receive files by email as they’re scared of viruses.
If you think about it, they’d probably be the top of the virus hitlist for a lot of hackers, so you can see where they’re coming from.
Anyway, they’ve taken this on board and are looking to start using email to communicate with businesses. Edward Tucker, HMRC’s head of cyber security, spoke about this at a conference last week and said one of the first steps will be to buy up all the domain names that look similar to HMRC. This will help with the security issues and ensure that emails from HMRC really are from HMRC, not HRMC!
Once they’ve done this, they’ll be able to move into the 21st century and start communicating via email. Perhaps we’ll even be able to get rid of our fax machine.
And, if you’re quick, you could buy up a few of these dodgy domains and sell them for a profit!
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Added by Jon Davies