In January I wrote about the dangers of paying fees to websites that claim to check and file your return with HMRC, aka copycat websites.
One such site (taxreturngateway.com) that charged people £500 to file tax returns online with HMRC, a process that is free if done directly with HMRC, has temporarily been suspended.
It seems that, according to the Telegraph, some people are claiming to have been "misled" into believing the site was a "genuine" government tax portal by its design.A statement on company’s website said:
“Due to overwhelming customer demand for our service and the close proximity to the January 31st Self-Assessment deadline, we have taken the decision to suspend our Self-Assessment Tax Return Submission service to new clients at this time. This decision has been made to ensure that we deliver the highest level and quality of service to our existing clients.”
Strictly speaking the site did not break the law, but in effect duped the gullible into spending money on a process that is in fact free.
A spokesman for Trading Standards said:
“In principle, a practice such as this is not illegal. Many businesses provide a service that consumers could carry out themselves relatively easily. We have looked at this particular trader's website site, and they do state that they are not connected to or affiliated with HMRC, DWP or any other official government body so there is very little that Trading Standards can do in this instance.”A spokesman for HMRC said:
“Whilst people are entirely free to employ a tax return agent, HMRC does not sanction or in any way approve such sites, and we will take firm action against any websites that suggest otherwise. HMRC provides comprehensive help and guidance through our website and contact centres entirely free of charge."Who4 owns Taxreturngateway.com, by happenstance it runs a number of copycat websites; where customers are charged £172 for passports that would normally cost £72.50 and £29 for Ehic cards, which are issued free by the NHS.
Tax does have to be taxing.
Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations
Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.
Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.
However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.
What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?
Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.
To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance
HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"