VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold are required to use the Making Tax Digital service to keep records digitally and use software to submit their VAT returns from 1 April 2019. Many traditional family run firms, local shops, tradesmen and others – who have submitted Paper VAT returns for a generation or more are going to have to switch to online accounting.
While the new system will make VAT collection better and more efficient, it also opens up business to a huge risk from Cyber Criminals, who will be sending ‘Phishing’ emails to businesses, impersonating bookkeepers, accountants, software providers and even HMRC, to get hold of critical business details.
Jake Moore, Cybersecurity Specialist at ESET:
“Targeted phishing is on the rise. While we are all told ad nauseum to be on guard against this kind of attack, we are all impulsive to a certain degree. Particularly when said phishing emails are very well constructed and convincing: often including logos, formatting and signatures that you would expect to see. These criminals lie and use psychological manipulation techniques to catch those that think themselves “cyber savvy” off-guard. No doubt everyone notices the massive influx of spam emails supposedly from HMRC around April every year. This isn’t a coincidence and just another way cyber criminals time and target their attacks, to add a sense of authenticity to entice you to click.”