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Client HMRC Account Hacked?

Client HMRC Account Hacked

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Hi I wonder has anyone experienced this before.  We received a letter yesterday from HMRC confirming a client refund has been processed but we didnt recognise the nominee.  Checked with client and they have never heard of the nominee either so contacted HMRC to discover the refund was requested this month online - this was not generated from us or the client.  After some more investigation we discovered that the client address has also been changed with HMRC so we have today requested its treated as an account breach with HMRC and they investigate.  Problem being the agent I spoke with was very vague - she was not aware of the process said she would complete a form then it would be a case of waiting on HMRC security team calling back.  She cant give any timelines?  Has anyone else experienced anything like this and what were the timescales?  I am concerned as at present we dont know if its a breach through the client or through our agent logins.  Obviously if it is our agent logins it could impact a lot more clients so really concerned with this lack of information.  Also i dont see any functionality to change agent login passwords?

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Scooby
By gainsborough
16th Sep 2020 09:53

There was a spate of these back in 2016 but haven't heard any recent cases. You could try also phoning online services (0300 200 3600) and then following up with a complaint form if you don't hear back: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/shortforms/form/OSC_Agent?_ga=2.81130455.....

There is an option to change agent password once you sign in if you click "Your Account" on the main menu.

Thanks (1)
Replying to gainsborough:
By tracyannw
16th Sep 2020 11:48

Many thanks i have managed to locate the functionality to change password so i feel better now about protecting other clients in case the breach may be with the agent ID. Surprised not that i am stuck on hold to online services. Thanks Again

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Replying to tracyannw:
Scooby
By gainsborough
16th Sep 2020 12:19

No problem - hope you get through soon! Try to get a reference number from them so you can use on the form if necessary to chase up.

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Teesside
By Teesside
16th Sep 2020 10:25

Last year. I had a client who's previous accountant changed the clients address and then submitted multiple amended tax returns for the same year to create false refunds and had the money paid into someone else's account. This only came to light after a year later the client switched to me and the online authorisation process didn't work, (obviously as I didn't have the same address as HMRC). It took months to sort out.

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Replying to Teesside:
Scooby
By gainsborough
16th Sep 2020 12:20

Nightmare. Hope said accountant is languishing in a jail cell somewhere or at least heavily fined and booted out of institute?

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Replying to gainsborough:
Teesside
By Teesside
16th Sep 2020 14:44

Said accountant wasn't with any professional body. HMRC has never told us what action if any was taken with the accountant.

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By Manchester_man
17th Sep 2020 09:21

Yes, this happened at a place local to me back in around 2015-16 when this kind of thing was pretty much unheard of. It caused no end of trouble within the firm.

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