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Emailing payment details to clients

How to do safely

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We are increasingly being asked by the clients to email them their HMRC bank details and reference numbers for making VAT/income tax/Corporation Tax/PAYE payments. It doesn't help the fact that HMRC do not always issue CT statements these days.

Some of the clients do use their log ins, but not the majority. We are pdf ing and passwording larger payments, but this takes up time. We also use shared drives such as Dropbox.

I am also concerned of these emails (if not password protected) may be intercepted and payment details could be changed.

We haven't had any issues so far but wanted to how other members are dealing with this? Is email still the mode for such payment communication for everyone?

Many thanks

Replies (21)

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By Matrix
14th Oct 2019 16:49

Wasn’t there a thread on this the other day?

Don’t send the bank details, just send the link to the respective gov.uk How to pay page, that is what I do. There is only so much hand holding you can do.

Thanks (3)
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By Leo01
14th Oct 2019 18:16

Thank you Matrix & WhichTyer.
Failed to mention. We do send these links and again clients come back with access/log in problems.
I am glad others are following the similar approach and there is only so much hand holding that you can do.

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Replying to Leo01:
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By Matrix
14th Oct 2019 20:10

No login required apart from into their bank account. I don’t get involved in tax payments.

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Replying to Leo01:
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By SXGuy
15th Oct 2019 10:40

Link for telephone and online banking will show account details. A bank transfer doesn't need a client to login, except maybe their own bank account.

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By paul.benny
15th Oct 2019 12:16

An alternative approach can be to get clients pay using a debit card. They still have to log in but there is much less risk of the funds being maliciously diverted.

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By 0098087
16th Oct 2019 09:46

Yes but you also have to let them have the reference numbers, CT changes every year.

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By NH
16th Oct 2019 09:47

Like Matrix we never send bank details just links.

However there is also a security concern if you are sending the CT payment reference, if the email is intercepted and the numbers changed, as you say very annoying that you can no longer just rely on a hard copy payment slip being sent.

If we need to ask for or send bank details we do this via a telephone call or via whatsapp/sms in two parts. Amazing how many clients still send us very confidential data via email

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By Practice Admin Monkey
16th Oct 2019 10:09

This info is on our summary and filing confirmation letters. We either transfer docs with this info on via Virtual Cabinet, or use encrypted emails (had Microsoft previously, now use Barracuda - much simpler for client use). Either way, the docs are securely transmitted and the client has the info, albeit behind a login.

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Replying to Practice Admin Monkey:
By 0098087
16th Oct 2019 10:14

A login..i wish..can't get them to use cloud bookeeping software let along a login. Some still moan about getting invoices by email as it costs to print them. Moans about BACS, prefers Cheques..flipping heck..still living in the 60s. Moan about passwords....etc..etc

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By ashmehta
16th Oct 2019 10:30

Try 7Zip

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By pauljohnston
16th Oct 2019 11:01

We include the payment details and reference in letter including accounts. If one uses email for this then it could be a proble.

How about emailing the link and texting the reference.

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Replying to pauljohnston:
By 0098087
16th Oct 2019 11:13

Yep and then they lose it..

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By djn24
16th Oct 2019 14:29

HMRC Cumbernauld 083210 12001039

Why is there an issue with giving these bank details?

Even the reference number is going to be pretty much useless to anyone.
You could get a company tax reference number from any subcontractor to verify them under CIS anyway.
Unless they want to pay the corp tax for the client that is.

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Replying to djn24:
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By NH
16th Oct 2019 15:21

because emails are not secure, this is exactly how fraudsters get hold of your money!

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Replying to NH:
By djn24
16th Oct 2019 15:26

Are you saying that they would intercept the email?

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Replying to djn24:
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By NH
16th Oct 2019 15:47

Yes of course, its a well known well publicised problem, there have been many cases where even a PDF attachment has been intercepted, altered and then forwarded on.
Its a dangerous world man!

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By AdShawBPR
17th Oct 2019 12:21

I have historically emailed HMRCs bank details with the email telling the client how much tax to pay and to where. However, I have also had my personal emil hacked at home with my personal emails forwarded to a 3rd party email address. The hacker could read everything I was getting and could easily have sent something based on an email that I would have been expecting. Luckily I sorted this out before he had the chance. I'm sure I read in the news the other day about a guy who was expecting to have to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds for a deposit on a property and somehow the hackers new this and got him to pay the money to them.
In the light of this risk, I don't feel I can send payment details in an ordinary email anymore. From here on I will be sending payment details through the client portal or with an encrypted email. It will take a bit longer though I'm sure I can work out a process so it's not much longer. But this will not take as long as clearing up the mess and embarrassment if it were all to go pear shaped. Thanks for the question!

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Replying to AdShawBPR:
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By WhichTyler
20th Oct 2019 14:00

But my point is that you don't need to send them bank details, just tell them where to find them...

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Replying to WhichTyler:
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By AdShawBPR
21st Oct 2019 06:39

I hear what you say. I just try to do everything I can to avoid another call from the client. The more I can pre-empt their queries, the less I will have to do. I have now created a 'stamp' in Adobe so I can just stamp a pdf with the bank details and send only the reference by email. Takes seconds so happy with this.

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Replying to WhichTyler:
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By Alf
28th Oct 2019 09:14

Presumably that is also open to being hacked and the link being replaced by one that goes to a fake HMRC page, with the hacker's bank details

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