VAT fraud: check your details

2 minutes to read

There have been recent cases where taxpayers’ bank account details have been amended on the HMRC portal, without their knowledge, so that VAT repayments have been diverted to a third party.

Has HMRC contacted you to say your details have been changed?
It is understood that Large Business ‘customers’ are being contacted by HMRC to confirm that any requested changes are genuine.

If you are a smaller business, recent research has shown that HMRC will not necessarily tell you if they identify what might be a fraudulent change of banking details.

Form VAT484
One path used by fraudsters seems to have been HMRC Form VAT484. It has been used to divert funds from a business account to their own.

In these cases, HMRC has followed up by writing to the taxpayer to say that their (unspecified) details have been amended. (This may not cause concern if you have recently asked the tax authorities to change details.)

To block this route for scammers, HMRC has announced that they plan to withdraw the pdf version of Form VAT484.

This is understood to be one route amongst others by which taxpayers details have been changed.

Traders should always check their Making Tax Digital (MTD) account if they receive any notice of amendments from HMRC in order to identify what has changed and that the change is genuine.

As with all financial transactions, taxpayers should continue to be vigilant. Check online accounts regularly to ensure your bank details have not been changed.

It is also important to report to HMRC all instances of known VAT fraud.

If you would like to discuss any this or any other tax, audit or accountancy queries with one of our experts, please call our Leicester office on 0116 254 9262, or Loughborough office on 01509 263500. Alternatively, our contact form is here.