HMRC online tax returns - the good news and bad news

Filed Under: Phishing, Spam

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.

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.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley