New homeowners are being warned about dodgy cold calls that could leave them with a hefty tax bill.
Strict warning has been given after the recent increase in stamp duty Refunds The claims made to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) failed to meet very specific criteria.
Rogue repayment agents approach homeowners who have already paid their Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), claiming that they have been overpaid.
you pay stamp duty When you buy a house, flat or other land and building in the UK at a fixed price.
For example, if you buy a property for £500,000, you will have to pay £10,000 as stamp duty. If you buy one for £350,000 you will pay £2,500.
This is not a popular tax, and can add thousands of pounds to the cost of buying a home.
So it should come as no surprise that homeowners targeted by these fraudsters are pleased to hear that they can get some money back.
Rogue repayment agents promise to claim SDLT relief refunds on your behalf – and charge for the service.
But when HMRC investigates the claims, it notices that the householders are not due for a refund and claims the refund.
HMRC operates a “process now, check later” rule, which means it can investigate claims even after refunds.
SDLT is a self-assessed tax, so even when making amendments to recover the tax, it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to correct it.
If the claim is false, the taxpayer will be liable to pay back 100% of the tax refund which a rogue tax repayment agent may have deducted along with interest.
If the taxpayer is found to have acted negligently or willfully, a fine can also be imposed.
A homeowner was told by scammers that he had paid more than £60,000 in stamp duty, but managed to flag it to HMRC.
The agent claimed that the house could be designed as two properties despite being one.
Nicole Newbury, HMRC director for wealthy and medium-sized businesses, said: “We are clearly seeing fake refund claims that will never succeed, but will lead to an unnecessary bill for the customer.
“That’s why we’re warning new homeowners that they’re promised easy money by tax repayment agents on a ‘no win, no charge’ basis.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
What to do if you have been cheated on?
Anyone contacted regarding a stamp duty refund claim should check with their original carrier.
Seek independent professional advice and check HMRC’s guidance by searching “stamp duty land tax” GOV.UK,
You can also contact HMRC’s helpline on 0300 2003 510.
Don’t be pressured into making a decision by the cold-caller – if in doubt, stop and give yourself some time to think.
Citizen advice is also a valuable resource.
If you have been fraudulent, you must:
- protect yourself from further risks
- Check if you can get your money back
- report scam
You can use Citizens Advice online scam assistant To get advice that is specific to you.
most common types of fraud
Fraudsters in the UK stole a whopping £753.9million in the first half of 2021.
This means criminals fled with more than four million quid of stolen money every day.
The Sun reveals the most common types of fraud back in october last year,
- unauthorized payment card fraud
- remote banking fraud
- investment scam
- Impersonation: Police/Bank Employee
- Impersonation: Other
- Invoice and Mandate Scam
- purchase scam
- advance fee fraud
- romance scam
Three Ways to Recognize WhatsApp Scams
And last month a British scam expert highlighted the main signs that a scammer is targeting you on WhatsApp.
- sense of urgency
- friends and family asking for money
- something seems wrong
It came with fake messages sent by miscreants on the rise In uk.
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