Beware of VAT refund fraud

18th April 2024

Beware of VAT refund fraud!


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


It seems that HMRC have been acting on the basis of a fraudulent letter or VAT 484 form purporting to be from the taxpayer, and have merely followed up by writing to the taxpayer to say that their (unspecified) details have been amended. This, of course, is unlikely to worry anyone who has asked HMRC to do anything at all in the last couple of years.


We do not know to what extent HMRC are aware of this issue; we have alerted them, but they have yet to respond. But for the present, at least, it seems that taxpayers submitting repayment claims need to check regularly that their bank details have not been changed, and any letters received from HMRC accepting amended VAT details, should be properly investigated.


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Disclaimer - All information in this post was correct at time of writing.
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