HMRC Warns Of Scam Emails Promising Tax Refunds

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs is wishing to warn tax payers ab0ut phishing emails which promise a tax refund. These emails are not originating from HMRC but rather fraudsters who are urging victims to reply before the 31st July 2014.

HMRC said that in May 2014 over 11,000 phishing emails were sent which is up 131% on the same time last year. During the tax renewal period in 2013, HMRC received reports of around 25,000 spam emails between April and July.

The tax authority closed down 1,740 illegal sites that mostly originating from the likes of Bulgaria, Turkey and Spain during 2013. However, emails themselves also came from the UK and USA. If the recipient clicks on a link within the email, they are taken to a fake HMRC website and asked to provide bank details alongside other information like passwords. Personal details can then be sold onto criminals who may commit identity theft as well as stealing money from bank accounts.

HMRC is asking those who receive this type of email not to click on any links or attachments and should forward them on to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and then delete them.

One scam email was sent from ‘taxreturn@hmrc.gov.uk’ informing them of a tax refund report of 2013. The email appeared to be sent from Tax Office Preston and contained an attachment which was a virus.

For more information about security, visit the HMRC website or call the helpline number advertised on this site. HMRC

Labour Propose Corporation Tax Rise

The Labour Party will confirm next week that it will raise Corporation Tax if it is elected next year. The party is also considering a tax break in order to equalise the way that debt and equity finance for companies is treated.

Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor is allegedly going to say that he is examining the case for an ‘allowance of corporate equity’ as part of proposed reforms to encourage businesses to think more long-term. He will reiterate the party’s intention to reverse Government plans currently in place to cut Corporation Tax in April by 1% because it believes that cutting and then freezing business rates on premises is of a higher priority. This move means that Labour will be committed to maintaining the most competitive corporation tax rate in the G7. This stance could still give the party room to increase the tax if it wins the next General Election. Corporation Tax Helpline

Currently, the UK’s corporation tax rates are much lower than other G7 countries following a series of cuts by the Government in the last few years. Canada has the lowest rate at the moment of 26.3 per cent.

The Labour Party is also considering an allowance for Corporate Equity, an idea that has been floating around since the 1980s in order to address the way that Britain and its tax system favours debt finance over equity finance, as critics believe that this can lead to an over-reliance on debt.

Versions of this have been introduced in Italy and Belgium but the policy could prove to be very expensive. When asked about the idea, Mr.Balls said that he and his party were pursuing ‘big ideas’.

Separately, Labour leader Ed Miliband kicked off a week of economic announcements by saying that he would transfer £30 billion worth of funding from central Government to local Governments.