Tax Scams – How To Identify & Report Them

Fraudulent behaviour has, and will always, be prevalent in all industries especially when it comes to tax. During the COVID-19 pandemic there have been an increased number of cases of tax evasion or businesses claiming more government grant money than they should be. A reported over 3000 employees have alerted HMRC to furlough payments not being paid to staff whilst also being made to work despite being on furlough.

Due to the pandemic, and the subsequent mammoth financial borrowing from the government, HMRC will be undertaking more investigations into businesses in order to claw back some of the money lost during lockdown. At Nordens, we always recommend our clients taking out tax insurance. Business protection is often one of the most overlooked and costly mistakes a business can make. For more information or any questions relating to tax insurance, please do not hesitate getting into contact with Marissa Jerrard on 020 8530 0720 or email

With this in mind, and the increased contact from HMRC to small businesses and sole traders, many scammers are capitalising on this. There have been countless reports of scammers falsely impersonating HMRC, through phone calls, text messages and emails, in order to force people to pay ‘penalties’ through a misleading website or bank account.

We look at what you can do to protect yourself and others to falling claim to these illegitimate scams.

How To Identify A Scam

The most recent scam which has been in major circulation is fraudsters contacting businesses and individuals claiming they are going to be arrested for tax evasion.

One of the fundamental things to remember is that HMRC:

  • Will never send any notifications regarding tax rebates or refunds by email
  • Will only ever call you asking about a claim or payment on a debt that you already know about.
  • Never leave a voicemail threatening legal action
  • Never give the reason for a call on a voice message
  • Never contact you through messaging services, such as WhatsApp.
  • Never use social media to offer a tax rebate or request any personal or financial information.

When it comes to emails, if you ever receive anything deemed to be from HMRC then check the email address it comes from. This is a good, solid indicator whether it’s a scam or not. See below an example of a bogus email supplied by HMRC:

As you can see, the blue highlighted address at the top of the email is in no way connected to HMRC. For a full and genuine list of HMRC email address to cross check, please click here.

How To Report A Scam

If you believe you’ve been subject to a scam and have suffered financial loss, HMRC request you contact Action Fraud. Alternatively, forward details of suspicious emails or social media activity to HMRC’s phishing team, whilst if you’ve already shared personal information you can report the disclosure to HMRC’s security team.

One of the more detailed ways a scammer can try to retrieve your information or finances is hyperlinking you to a website posing as a HMRC government portal. These can look incredibly similar to legitimate HMRC website portals and are designed to persuade you to input personal information which will most probably used for identity fraud or embezzlement. These again should be reported immediately to HMRC’s phishing team at


We hope this has helped you differentiate between a legitimate HMRC contact and a scam. If you require any more information on any tax scams, tax insurance or anything accounting related for that matter, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at Nordens where one of our trusted advisors would be happy talking you through your query.

Beyond Accountancy

At Nordens, we're more than just accountants - we're business experts who can help you achieve your biggest goals.

Nordens Strategic

Our specialist strategic division at Nordens boasts some of the leading entrepreneurial business minds in the country. We cater towards delivering consistent success stories, whilst helping businesses achieve above and beyond their initial goals.

Through highly-tailored guidance, coaching and advice, Nordens Strategic are able to define exactly how your business can reach new levels of success.

Regardless of how you define ‘success’ for your business, our strategic service is guaranteed to bring about real and lasting change. By partnering with some of the UK’s top business coaches, we’ll steer you along the path to a greater future.

Accounting 2 You

Every business, no matter how big or small, needs to make the right decisions, and how to best manage your accounts can put huge question marks over your business. Accounting2You is here to take that pressure off and provide you with all the answers you need.

Our bookkeeping branch offers a fully inclusive, comprehensive service that you can trust. Since 2005, our specialist bookkeepers have been successfully managing the accounting of both individuals and small businesses.

With experts in payroll analysis, credit control and financial recording, Accounting2You will lead your business efficiently, and with real purpose, towards a prosperous future.

Voted as EXCELLENT - 9.9 out of 10 based on 167 reviews

Chris Dyer

Director - Metro Bank

Nordens are always very easy to deal with and extremely professional and efficient. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to my clients for their accountancy needs, no matter how complex they may be.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Jamie Brown

Co-Founder - Chicmi Limited

Very good to work with - the team go above and beyond to make the accounts easy and efficient. They're all super friendly and a joy to work with.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Simon Rose

Director - Rose Opticians

I have been using Nordens Chartered Accountants for 5 years and very happy with the service provided. All members of the team are very knowledgeable and have a wealth of experience which has proved very beneficial to my organisation

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Rebecca Bossick

Founder & Director - Physio LDN

Very easy to contact and put me in touch with the right person whenever I need to ask any questions. Extremely knowledgeable and can help me manage my various businesses whenever I need.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

James Aconley

Principal - Pauline Quirke Academy

Great accountants, always available to offer advice. The team have transformed my business.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Christopher Wilce

Founder - Dataphone

Having worked with Nordens over the last 5 years, not only to look after my annual accounts but they have also provided outstanding professional advice. They have guided me through a Company share buyback with clear and objective advice. We have also been using Nordens strategic services for a couple of years, which has helped bring about significant improvements that exceeded my expectations. With experience of working with several local accountants over my 29 years in business, I’m very pleased with the service I have received from Nordens.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Dave Hodges

Director - Linekers

Trusted our business with Nordens for over 10 years now and watched the company grow into the successful innovative business it has become today. Deservedly so. Every aspect of financial advice we need is always given promptly and with a smile. We have total confidence in all aspects of advice Nordens give. If you are looking for accountants, its a no brainer!

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Tony Charles

Founder - Foundation Sports Limited

A fantastic, modern, vibrant firm that care about the clients and their staff in abundance. It is rare to find an Accountancy firm with such vibrance and focus and relationships. It is no wonder they win award after award in their field.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Peter Horlock

Managing Director - Prime Time Boilers

I have been with Nordens for many years now and they are a great accountants.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Simon Cushing

Founder - Vivid Finishes

We have used Nordens for the last 5 years and have had a great service throughout. The guys are very passionate about what they do and have played a part in the growth of our company, highly recommended.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Andrew Martin

Managing Director - AMD Interior Architecture

Great Service at Nordens from a friendly very approachable team Particularly Kirsty Willis and Joe Sword who have been helping us since we started the business in 2016.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

James Robinson

Director - Forma London

Nordens provide a first class service. We moved to Nordens last year and have been impressed with the level of service provided. Keep up the good work!

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Latest News

We've always got our ears to the ground when it comes to interesting, useful and topical information relating to business and accountancy.

Business Credit Rating Score…
Most of us are familiar with credit scores, essentially a 3-digit number that shows how likely you are to be accepted for credit. The higher the rating, the more likely you are to be accepted for a credit application, whilst th...
Changes To National Insurance…
National Insurance is the bedrock of the state system, basically a tax on all earnings and self-employed profits from an individual. National Insurance Contributions (NICs) can be a confusing and complex situation for many, not...
Nordens TV

We love making videos that break down convoluted accountancy jargon into plain-talking, actionable and accessible facts.

Tax On Cryptocurrency? –…
I’m sure plenty of you have heard of cryptocurrency, especially the popular variants of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Cardano to name but a few. In fact, there’s thousands of different coins and tokens in circulation, with ne...
10 Easy Ways To…
Growing your business can often be an overwhelming and complex task, however by simply following some key guidelines you’ll place yourself in the best position to advance and cultivate success. Check out our Top 10 ways to grow...
  Why I Founded Nordens
Accounting 2 You

In November 2002, having sold our other business interests off earlier in the year, I decided to set up Nordens Chartered Accountants. The easy part was knowing how to do it, as I had established and built a smaller practice a few years earlier. The difficult part, for me, was not following the traditional accountancy path. Having run businesses, both successfully and unsuccessfully, I wanted to help business owners resolve their short term problems and work with them to achieve their longer term goals. Business has always been my interest and I love that I can help business owners achieve what seems like the impossible every single working day.

Mark Norden Signature

Mark Norden

We're Professionally Certified

Our limited company accountants have a range of qualifications from The Institute Of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). We worry about the bye-laws, regulations and ethical guidelines of the ACCA so you don’t have to! That makes us an ACCA-accredited employer as well as a Professional Passport-accredited one!