HMRC has issued an updated version of their online guidance on Genuine HMRC contact and recognising phishing emails and texts. The guidance provides a current list of genuine messages from HMRC. This includes email messages, text messages and telephone contacts from HMRC.
The latest updates on the list includes confirmation that HMRC is contacting some taxpayers by email who opened a Tax-Free Childcare account but no longer use it. The research will help HMRC to understand how best to support working families with their childcare costs.
HMRC is also working with independent research company IFF Research to help understand barriers to signing up for and using Tax-Free Childcare. You may get a letter from IFF Research telling you about the research and an invitation by telephone to take part. Participation is voluntary.
Although all these communications are genuine, taxpayers should still be wary of receiving messages that are purported to come from HMRC. Fake email and text messages can appear to be genuine but clicking on a link from these messages can result in personal information being compromised and the possibility of computer viruses affecting your computer or smartphone.
If you are unsure as to the validity of any message it should not be opened until the sender can be verified. The validity of letters from HMRC can also be checked by contacting HMRC directly by telephone to confirm if a letter is genuine.