Check if your “HMRC” email is a scam

Check if your “HMRC” email is a scam

Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to deceive individuals and organisations through fraudulent emails claiming to be from HMRC. While individuals have been commonly targeted, we are witnessing a rising trend of organisations falling victim to these scams. It is crucial to remember that HMRC never sends tax rebate or refund notifications via email, nor do they request personal or organisational payment information through email.

To help you navigate this issue, HMRC offers valuable online guidance on identifying and handling bogus emails.

Phishing and bogus emails

On 25 April HMRC published a list of emails it had recently sent to taxpayers. You can use this list to check whether your email is genuine.

  • Annual tax summary
  • Businesses selling goods through online marketplaces in the UK
  • Employer bulletins
  • Help and support
  • Helping to improve the GOV.UK website
  • HMRC digital products and services ― research with businesses and agents
  • Import and export data trade statistics
  • Intermediaries newsletter
  • Invitation to take part in research
  • Making Tax Digital for VAT
  • One-to-Many Compliance Advisory Board invitation to complete a survey
  • Paying into your Help to Save account
  • Personal Tax Account promotion
  • Register of customs agents and fast parcel operators on GOV.UK
  • Tax-free Childcare service
  • VAT debts reminders
  • VAT EU refund service failed validation
  • VAT registration
  • VAT Returns reminder

You can find more details about these emails here:

Check if an email you’ve received from HMRC is genuine

An email is likely to be bogus if it is not on the list above or a list of earlier emails here:

Check genuine HMRC contacts

You can also set up an automatic email update for the list of emails, so whenever HMRC updates it, you will be notified.

If you have any questions about this, please contact us

Peter Gladdish

Written by Peter Gladdish

Peter has significant experience of advising local authorities on VAT issues. He spent the last 3 of his 9 years with Customs and Excise as policy adviser to Customs’ local authority VAT teams. Peter subsequently joined Ernst & Young’s public sector VAT team in 1997.

View all by Peter Gladdish