Is Making Tax Returns Simple Ltd Legit or a Scam? [Beware]

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  • Post published:February 21, 2024
  • Post category:Reviews

With tax season approaching, many people are looking for assistance filing their returns. Services that offer to handle the process for you can seem appealing, especially if they promise large refunds. However, it’s important to carefully evaluate any unfamiliar companies before sharing your personal and financial information.

In this review, we’ll take an in-depth look at Making Tax Returns Simple Ltd, assessing red flags and indicators of legitimacy to help you make an informed decision about using their services.

About Making Tax Returns Simple Ltd

Making Tax Returns Simple Ltd is a UK-based company that offers to file tax returns and claim refunds on your behalf. Their website says they can “streamline tax rebates” and handle all the paperwork, allowing you to “commence your rebate journey” without hassle.

The site showcases testimonials from satisfied customers and claims Making Tax Returns Simple is “loved by thousands across the UK.” However, we found little information about who owns or operates this business. The website does not list any management team, company history, physical address, or phone number.

The company number 14729456 corresponds to Making Tax Returns Simple Ltd, which was incorporated on March 14, 2023. They list their registered address as 18 Faraday Road, Liverpool.

A search of Companies House shows that Making Tax Returns Simple Ltd has not yet submitted any confirmation statements or accounting records, which is not unusual given their recent incorporation. However, the lack of financial transparency makes the company difficult to independently evaluate.

Making Tax Returns Simple Ltd Review: Evaluating Red Flags

When assessing an unfamiliar online company, several red flags may indicate you should proceed with caution:

  • No company history, leadership team, or verified contact info
  • Vague services and claims using emotional language
  • Little financial transparency and accountability
  • No clear explanation of fees or process
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Making Tax Returns Simple’s website demonstrates some concerning signs. They make bold claims about getting large refunds, but offer no specifics on their preparers’ qualifications or process. The UK’s tax agency, HMRC, warns that websites promoting tax rebates with emotive phrases and pressure to act quickly are often misleading.

While testimonials can add legitimacy, Making Tax Returns Simple’s reviews raise eyebrows. They were all posted within the last few months from accounts with only 1 review. This differs from established firms whose testimonials come from longer-term clients over the years.

When researching Making Tax Returns Simple online, we found several complaints about being charged excessive fees and poor communication. Some said paperwork was filed without permission and they struggled to contact the company.

These types of issues are also reflected in Making Tax Returns Simple’s extremely poor Trustpilot score of just 1.5 out of 5 based on over 80 reviews. Many describe it as a “scam” and warn others to avoid the company completely.

Indicators of Potential Legitimacy

Despite the above concerns, Making Tax Returns Simple does demonstrate some attributes of a legitimate business.

  • Active UK company number – They are registered with Companies House as an active business. Illegitimate operators are less likely to take this official step.
  • Responds to complaints – Making Tax Returns Simple replies to most negative reviews stating they will look into issues. Scams typically ignore criticism altogether.
  • Refunds offered – Some unhappy customers said they eventually received refunds after complaining, indicating possible attempts to resolve problems.
  • HMRC letters – Several reviews reference getting letters from HMRC confirming tax rebates. These suggest some clients are receiving substantive services.
  • No obvious legal trouble – Searches uncovered no lawsuits or investigations against Making Tax Returns Simple so far. Illicit companies often get caught quickly.
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So while Making Tax Returns Simple exhibits numerous red flags, they do have some attributes of a legitimate business. However, the overwhelmingly negative feedback indicates you should proceed with extreme caution if considering using their services.

Best Practices for Assessing Unfamiliar Sites

When evaluating online companies you haven’t used before, applying these best practices can help determine if a service is legitimate:

(1) Research the company name online – Search for reviews, complaints, warnings, and other commentary from independent sources. Be wary if most information comes from the company itself.

(2) Verify licenses and credentials – Reputable tax preparers have PTINs registered with the IRS and HMRC. Accountants will be Chartered and registered. Confirm any licenses match the advertised services.

(3) Look up company details – Check national registries for incorporation status, addresses, leadership teams, and financial statements. Lack of official registration and transparency can be a red flag.

(4) Understand their process – Professional firms will clearly explain their methodology, timeline, how they access your data, and fees charged. Avoid those with vague details.

(5) Read user experiences – Check third-party review sites like Trustpilot and social media for detailed client reviews. Isolated complaints happen, but pervasive issues indicate risk.

(6) Contact references – Ask for client references you can directly contact. Reputable businesses should readily provide them.

(7) Start small – Consider using a new service for a limited purpose first, rather than your entire tax return. That lets you evaluate them before providing full access.

(8) Follow your instincts – If a company seems sketchy or makes exaggerated claims, tread cautiously. Never feel pressured. Proceed only if completely comfortable.

Expert Perspectives on Evaluating Tax Preparers

With warnings on the rise about tax scams, expert guidance can help identify trustworthy services.

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The IRS emphasizes using preparers who are vetted, licensed, and affiliated with professional organizations. They recommend checking the Better Business Bureau and state licensing boards for complaints.

UK consumer advocates like MoneySavingExpert also provide tips like being wary of “too good to be true” tax rebate offers and carefully reading the small print before signing any contracts.

Finance experts advise against sharing information with cold callers promoting tax services, even if they have some of your details already. This “pretexting” is commonly used to appear familiar.

Overall, professionals emphasize researching preparation companies thoroughly, verifying credentials, starting slowly, and following reputable recommendations. If something seems suspicious, it likely is.

The Key Takeaway – Proceed With Extreme Caution

While Making Tax Returns Simple Ltd does have some attributes of a legitimate company, the overwhelmingly negative feedback indicates substantial risk if you engage their services. Lack of transparency, exaggerated claims, and poor communication would give any tax expert pause.

For UK residents seeking tax preparation assistance, professionals recommend reputable firms like H&R Block, TaxAssist, and CATAX. Though not flawless, these established companies have much stronger records of service quality, transparency and responsiveness.

Or if you prefer independent accountants, ask trusted friends for referrals or search directories like ICAEW and The Association of Taxation Technicians. Look for Chartered Accountant (ACA or CA) or Tax Enrolled Agent (TEA) credentials.

Filing taxes can be complex, but don’t let that push you into unreliable services. By thoroughly vetting companies and using our best practices, you can identify trustworthy assistance that will handle your finances with competence and integrity.

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