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  • Mr Paul Clifton

Simple Assessment letters - Call HMRC on 0300 322 7835

Updated: Dec 19, 2023


This is a blog article on a website of a firm of accountant. Please do not telephone us regarding letters you receive from HMRC that you think may be scam letters. You should instead telephone HMRC on its official published telephone number of 0300 200 3310.


Alternatively, write to HMRC at PAYE & Self-Assessment, HMRC, BX9 1AS and send them copies of the letters that you have received in the post. To confirm these contact details are genuine go to the HMRC Self Assessment and PAYE website


Conclusion - Not a scam number and not a scam letter


As you will see at the foot of this updated blog article, and after much chasing of HMRC through official channels, we eventually did receive an official email from a Press Officer at HMRC who stated: "We have checked the letter you sent and the number [0300 322 7835] and confirm all are legitimate HMRC correspondence/contact numbers."


Our original blog article


The telephone number 0300 322 7835 has been reported as a fake number that is used by scammers to impersonate HM Revenue & Customs and to trick people into paying money or giving personal information about themselves. However, do read on.....


This telephone number is not listed on the official HMRC website as a genuine contact number. You should never give out your personal or financial information to anyone who contacts you unexpectedly and claims to be from HMRC.


Scammers may send you letters, emails or text messages that claim to be from HMRC and ask you to call this number to discuss your tax affairs or to make a payment.


Many people, through Google searches etc think that this number does not appear to be a genuine HMRC contact number. If you do telephone this number, you will be greeted with the usual HMRC recorded message and music making it look like a genuine telephone number for the HMRC PAYE and Self-Assessment number department on 0300 200 3310.


You should be careful if you respond to any communication that uses this number and you should report it to HMRC as soon as possible at phishing@hmrc.gov.uk. When we contacted HMRC using the above email address, we received a rather unhelpful reply of, "This email address should only be used for reporting HMRC phishing related incidents (online/SMS/phone calls), therefore we are unable to deal with your enquiry."


You can check a list of genuine HMRC contacts on the GOV.UK website or contact HMRC directly using the official telephone numbers, though you will not find 0300 322 7835 anywhere. The HMRC official PAYE and Self-Assessment helpline is 0300 200 3310.


We even contacted HMRC, for clarity, on the special agent dedicated PAYE and Self-Assessment helpline of 0300 200 3311 for a response and to ask if 0300 322 7835 is a fake number. We were extremely surprised and concerned by their response.


They actually said that unless we can provide confirmation that the letter was sent to a client of our firm that they would not help us in confirming this scam number. We explained that we were a fully affiliated professional firm of Chartered Certified Accounts and registered with HMRC as an agent (accountant) and wanted to be able to contact our own clients and updated our blog site about the scam. They would not move on their stance; which was we cannot help you as the letter was to a person who is not a client of your firm. Given what you can read about other scams, by Googling this number, we were surprised by their stance.


We also contacted the HMRC dedicated agent helpline for Self-Assessment. This is a helpline for accountant to hopefully get through to H M Revenue & Customs quicker to resolve more complex client queries. HMRC appreciate that accountants (tax agents) can spend many hours on the telephone resolving client queries and often need better trained staff to deal with these issues.


Given their extra training, we were astonished to hear their reply; ‘We do not care about scams. My employer [HMRC] has only told me that I have to only deal with tax code and penalties queries until June 2023. Even when we pressed the individual for a more considered and detailed reply, we received the same answer. When a registered qualified accountant calls you to tell you about a potential letter-based scam that is being sent to the customers of your organisation, you would expect HMRC‘s own better training staff to take this seriously.


We were finally told to contact the HMRC PR department. They could only direct us to a generic HMRC website page on phishing.


How is an individual who receives this type of letter ever going to validate it as a genuine or fake scam letter if HMRC cannot even confirm if the telephone number at the top of letter is one of their own and even after contacting the specific PAYE and Self-Assessment helpline?


What is Simple Assessment


Simple Assessment is a way of paying tax that was introduced by HMRC in 2017. It is designed to make paying income tax amounts easier for people who have income that is not taxed at source, such as multiple small amounts of employment income from several employers, private and state pensions or savings interest


Affected individuals will receive a PA302 tax calculation from HMRC. Look in the bottom left-hand side corner for the PA302 letter reference.

If you receive a Simple Assessment (not a Self-Assessment) letter from HMRC, it means that they have calculated your income tax liability based on information they have about your income and where you have not completed or been asked to complete a Self-Assessment Tax Return.


However, you still need to check the accuracy of the calculation and pay the tax due by the deadline specified in the letter. If you have any questions about your Simple Assessment letter or you need to report any changes to your income or circumstances, you can contact HMRC by telephone on 0300 200 3310. This is the official telephone number for Simple Assessment enquiries and it is open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, and Saturday, 8am to 4pm. You will need your National Insurance number when you call. Alternatively, you can use the online service on the HMRC website to view your Simple Assessment calculation, report changes or pay your tax online.


The official HMRC address for letters is at:

PAYE & Self-Assessment

HM Revenue and Customs

BX9 1AS


We have taken effort and reasonable care to prepare this article, including contacting the main official PAYE and Self-Assessment helplines of HMRC, their PR Department and their Press Department. To date, we have received no satisfactory reply to confirm the validity of the 0300 322 7835 telephone number.


Addendum


Eventually, we did receive an email update from a Press Officer at HMRC Press Office.


"We have checked the letter you sent and the number [0300 322 7835] and confirm all are legitimate HMRC correspondence/contact numbers."


An HMRC spokesperson said:


“Tax scams come in many forms, some offer a rebate while others threaten immediate arrest for tax evasion. If someone contacts you saying they’re HMRC, wanting you to urgently transfer money or give personal information, be on your guard. HMRC will also never ring up threatening arrest; only criminals do that.


“Unexpected contacts like these should set alarm bells ringing, so don’t be rushed, take your time and check HMRC scams advice on GOV.UK.”


Additional comments from the HMRC Press Office


Protect

  • Criminals are cunning - protect your information.

  • Take a moment to think before parting with your money or information.

  • Use strong and different passwords on all your accounts so criminals are less able to target you.

Recognise

  • If a phone call, text or email is suspicious or unexpected, don’t give out private information or reply, and don’t download attachments or click on links.

  • Check on GOV.UK that the contact is genuinely from HMRC.

  • Do not trust caller ID on phones. Numbers can be spoofed.


Report

  • If you’re unsure about a text claiming to be from HMRC forward it to 60599, or an email to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk. Report a tax scam phone call on GOV.UK.

  • Contact your bank immediately if you’ve had money stolen and report it to Action Fraud. In Scotland, contact the police on 101.

  • By reporting phishing emails, you help stop criminal activity and prevent other people falling victim.


Where to get HMRC help and support


Some people prefer to deal with HMRC online. You can get information and support through:


Other links - Low Incomes Tax Reform Group


You may also wish to review two other articles on this subject published by the creditable Low Incomes Tax Reform Group. They also confirm that the telephone number 0300 322 7835 is a genuine HMRC telephone number.


Write to HMRC at 'PAYE & Self-Assessment, HMRC, BX9 1AS' with copies of any letters that you receive that you think are scam letters from HMRC. Alternatively, telephone them on 0300 200 3310.


They should be able to confirm if any HMRC Simple-Assessment, Self-Assessment or other tax calculations and letters that you receive are genuine.

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