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HMRC boosting online protection for tax returns

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is planning to improve online security before the 31st of January 2016 deadline for self-assessment tax returns. It advised its customers to “remain vigilant” when filing their returns online.

HMRC will be sending out up to one million emails within the next six weeks, reminding individuals that they will need to file their online self-assessment tax returns by the 31st January. The tax authority also announced its aims to protect its customers from tax scams, which are common around this time of year.

Priority

HMRC advised customers to remain protected from phishing scams by ensuring that the latest anti-virus software is installed on their computers, using the latest version of their internet browser, and regularly changing their passwords.

“Handling the personal details of every taxpayer in the country is a huge responsibility and the security of this data, especially online, is a top priority for HMRC,” said Jonathan Lloyd White, director of security and information and departmental security officer (DSO), HMRC.

He added that HMRC are “committed to customers’ online security” but that people need to be alert, as the methods being used to access personal information are constantly changing.

Plans

The HMRC also recently announced its plans to “transform” tax administration to make it “more effective, more efficient and easier” for taxpayers. The new plans could see the tax system being transformed into a fully digital system by 2020.

David Gauke MP outlined the plans in a report, stating that “millions of individuals and businesses are benefiting from the convenience and simplicity of digital services.”


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