Fraudulent activity for VAT repayments targeting food, farming, construction, and export-heavy organisations

HMRC is said to be seeing an increase in fraudulent activity, according to information obtained by property VAT authors Martin Scammell and Chris Nyland. Rumours suggest that fraudsters are disguising themselves as taxpayers to alter bank account details on HMRC’s online portal.

HMRC is said to be aware of the rising issue and is asking those affected to report the fraud, by reference to the affected VAT registration number. They have also announced plans to withdraw the PDF version of form VAT484 – the form used to amend and update VAT details such as bank accounts.

Gary Frear, Agriculture expert and Partner from accountancy firm Price Bailey comments on the impact for Farmers:

Given that the majority of farming entities are receiving monthly or quarterly VAT refunds, it is essential for the cash flow of the farm to continue receiving these refunds without interruption.

We are also now entering a period when farms are typically purchasing inputs like sprays and fertilisers and the refunds could be much larger.

Greg Mayne, a VAT Partner from Price Bailey, comments:

HMRC are aware of the recent spike in fraudulent activity and are said to be dealing with these. They are also suggesting that larger businesses have been the primary target and are asking these organisations to confirm the authenticity of any account changes.

Despite this, we are hearing some smaller businesses have also been affected and so, for the time being, taxpayers submitting repayment claims must be especially vigilant and check that their bank account details have not changed.



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