Online safety tips for taxpayers filing their self-assessment tax return

/ Posted By - Bradleys Accountants / Categories - Tax Planning

The last thing you need is for your tax return to be compromised by online fraudsters. Here are 8 simple tips to keep in mind while filing your self-assessment tax return online.

1. Double check domain names

When you click through to links from search engines or websites, carefully read the domain name that appears in your browser. Look out for extra words, misspellings, added characters and anything but the usual ending.

2. Check URL

Please ensure that the web address (URL) begins with “https://” and not “http://”. The ‘s” stands for secure.

3. Scan homepage content

Read the homepage of the website – it might actually say that it’s not affiliated with the HMRC.

4. Search engine results

HMRC’s official site appears in the first or second place for organic (not paid for) search rankings. Keep an eye for the paid-for search engine results which appear in yellowed boxed adverts at the top of the page.

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    5. Downloading tax forms

    Never use a search engine to search for tax forms or download directly from any link. Log-in directly to HMRC’s website for such information.

    6. Browser version

    Make sure you regularly update your browsers with the latest security patches to minimise any vulnerabilities. Also enable browser phishing and malware protection filters.

    7. Avoid using public Wi-Fi

    Never file your taxes or reveal any sensitive information such as credit card or personal details over an unencrypted Wi-Fi connection like the one we use at coffee shops or public spaces.

    8. Get help

    If you think you may have fallen victim to an online tax scam, report it immediately to HMRC. And if you feel you are being misled by any Google advert you can report your concerns to Google here.

    The deadline for filing an online tax return for the year ending 2013/14 is 31 January 2015. Taxpayers who miss the deadline will be fined £100. Additional penalties of £10 per day up to a maximum of £900 will take effect if the tax return is still outstanding 3 months after the due date. Either you can go directly to the HMRC website and file your tax return online or call/email us on 020 803 1287/ a free consultation.

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