ACCA is warning employees across Ireland about the risk posed by some online tax refund service providers that are seeking to manage people’s PAYE claims.
The professional accountancy body has said that such service providers also pose a risk to the harvesting of personal data and that their percentage fee structure could act as an incentive for these companies to illegally overstate refund claims for customers when submitting returns on their behalf to Revenue. These customers have no clear route to a right of redress should they find themselves out of pocket.
ACCA professionals throughout Ireland have found an increase in this type of service which is specifically seeking to target people at the same time as the Government introduces its new information technology systems to record wages online, from January 2019.
The Government’s new system requires that employees keep their on-line records up to date and it has a very simple process for reclaiming tax credits and refunds. Some unqualified online service providers seek tax payers to provide exactly the same information as will be required by the Government’s new system and accordingly simply transcribes the information across.
Commenting Stephen O’Flaherty, Chairman, ACCA Ireland, said, “Providing bank account details, date of birth and Personal Public Service (PPS) Number to an unqualified online tax service, leaves employees at risk of identity theft with no come back on the service or the quantity of tax refund or credit received.
“We would strongly advise people never to accept a percentage of a refund payment arrangement or to agree to any submission whereby the details are erroneous. Undertaking appropriate due diligence on the qualifications held by the service providers and ensuring they are regulated is simply good risk management and is recommended. The Government’s refund system is uncomplicated, and we would strongly urge people to either complete the process themselves or seek help from a trusted and known source such as a qualified accountant.”
People can complete the online process by:
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ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.
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