HMRC online tax returns – the good news and bad news

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has told The Register that a record number of British taxpayers have filed their returns via the internet.

Nearly 5.8 million people are said to have filed their returns online before the January 31st deadline, and, according to the HMRC, 67% of UK taxpayers used the online system to file their self-assessment tax returns this year.

Although The Register reports that there have been some grumbles from users who found the site bogged down in traffic, the HMRC is presenting this as a success story.

As Paul Baccas explains on the SophosLabs blog, however, an increasing number of people using online systems to manage their finances is only likely to encourage more phishers to try their hand at stealing money.

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HMRC phishing email

Ironically this particular phish arrived after the UK’s deadline for filing your tax return online. Nevertheless some people may have fallen foul of it, and put their identity and finances at risk.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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